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Higgins announces House approval of 5-year FAA reauthorization

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Mon, Apr 30th 2018 11:00 am
Bill maintains flight safety provisions implemented following Flight 3407, includes additional consumer protections
On Friday, Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) and his colleagues in the House of Representatives voted (393-13) to approve the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R.4). The bill funds the FAA at $104.17 billion annually through 2023.
Prior to the vote Higgins spoke on the floor urging Congress to uphold the safety standards implemented by Congress following the crash of Flight 3407.
"In 2010, Congress approved landmark flight safety legislation after the flight of 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo, New York, in 2009. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that pilot error was the cause of that tragedy," Higgins said. "The Southwest Airlines emergency landing two weeks ago is an urgent and inspiring reminder of the importance of pilot training to keep the flying public safe. The Southwest pilot, Tammie Joe Shults, piloted that plane to a safe landing in a calm, controlled and confident manner borne out of one thing: excellent pilot training."
The legislation:
•Includes $3.35 billion annually for the FAA's Airport Improvement Program, which funds critical airport infrastructure construction.
•Reauthorizes the essential air service program, which subsidizes air service to rural communities.
•Takes steps to ensure air travel is more accessible for people with disabilities by requiring the Department of Transportation to address airplane restroom accessibility, study in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems and mandate accessibility-specific issues training for airline crewmembers.
•Increases mandatory rest standards for flight attendants from as little as eight hours currently to 10 hours.
•Calls for medium- and large-hub airports that receive federal funds to make private rooms available for nursing mothers.
•Requires airlines make available a one-page document detailing passenger rights regarding compensation for delays, lost baggage and overbooking.
•Prohibits airlines from bumping passengers once they have boarded the plane.
•Sets minimum dimensions for passenger airline seats.
The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.
Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY-27) also voted for a bill to reauthorize FAA programs for five years, providing what he called "long-term stability for the nation's aviation community."
"For the next five years, we will not have to worry about Congress watering down important pilot training requirements, giving us much needed certainty," Collins said. "The families of Flight 3407 have been impressive and tireless advocates for flight safety reforms, and we will continue to work with the Trump administration to make sure there are no changes to these hours. Because of the work of the families, America's flying public can have confidence in the skills of their pilots and we will do everything in our power to keep it that way.
"This legislation ensures our system remains the safest in the world for air travelers by enhancing maintenance procedures for aircrafts."
Collins added: "Since I was elected to Congress, I've made it a priority to keep Americans safe in our skies. This legislation is a win as we continue to advocate for reforms that enhance flight safety."
For more information on H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, click HERE.

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