WASHINGTON – Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said this Tuesday after voting in favor of legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration:
“I appreciate Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson's thoughtful negotiations on this important reauthorization. Today’s result represents another example of what can be accomplished when committee leaders focus on areas of agreement. I’m pleased to have played a role in the creation and passage of this bipartisan legislation. This bill will increase airline passenger protections, clarify the federal government’s role in the emerging drone industry and further boost the safety and security of our overall aviation system.
“This reauthorization includes several provisions I sought, including an amendment to prohibit the FAA from charging large general aviation fly-in events, like EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, additional fees for their air traffic controllers to work the towers. Since an abrupt policy shift in 2012, the FAA has levied well over a million dollars in new fees, threatening the very future of EAA. What the FAA is doing to AirVenture and other similar fly-in events is wrong and needs to stop.”
Other key provisions in the Senate’s FAA bill sought by Sen. Johnson include:
- General Aviation Protection – Includes the Commerce Committee-passed Pilot’s Bill of Rights II.
- Pilot Training Standards – Maintains current pilot training standards, and requires the prompt finalization of the long-delayed FAA rule to implement an electronic pilot record database.
- Drone Safety – Allows the FAA to implement a pilot project to serve as the basis for a future report on drone mitigation safety standards at America’s airports.
- Federal Contract Tower Program Protection – Continues the existence and strong funding of the program, and includes reforms to the program’s participation rules.
- Emergency Medical Equipment Enhancement – Directs the FAA to update current guidelines regarding the contents of emergency medical kits carried aboard airliners, so that they include epinephrine auto-injectors to combat allergic reactions.