The Air Transport Association (ATA), congratulated the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee members and other representatives for their leadership on the passage of HR. 658, the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011, which passed on Friday by a vote of 223-196.
“We applaud the House for passing a bill that is free of any tax increases, which is good for customers and enhances the global competitiveness and viability of the U.S. airline industry,” said ATA president and CEO Nicholas E. Calio.
“The FAA bill also enables our industry to build on our strong safety record by protecting critical data and moving Next Gen implementation forward which will reduce flight delays, and help carriers mitigate rising fuel prices and our environmental impact. NextGen performance deadlines and metrics will also ensure that FAA is focused on delivering the promise of a modernized system that will benefit all,” Calio said.
“Congress rejected a misguided amendment that would have improperly interfered with the contractual relationships between carriers and Global Distribution System providers. Airlines must be able to operate like any other business, and determine through what channels they sell their products, without government intervention,” Calio said.
Key provisions that ATA said it supports in the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 include:
• Rejection of the $2 billion Passenger Facility Tax increase
• Deadlines and metrics for ensuring FAA will deliver promised benefits of a NextGen air traffic management system
• Provisions to enable public-private partnerships for NextGen financing
• Establishment of a risk-based approach for foreign repair stations inspections that protects U.S. jobs and respects bilateral agreements
• Harmonization of U.S. regulations and international standards for shipments of lithium batteries and products containing them that will enhance safety
• Reversal of the recent administrative rule that made it possible for a union to be organized without the support of the majority of employees represented
• Critical legal protections for safety information provided to the FAA as part of their Safety Management System for voluntary safety data submissions
• Congress’ clear view that the unilateral application of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme will violate international law and bilateral agreements