Kerry Lynch AIN ONLINE
Congress Funding Bill Addresses Certification, AAM 
December 21, 2022
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  • A comprehensive government-wide $1.7 trillion fiscal 2023 spending package unveiled yesterday drew praise from aviation advocates for including key priorities ranging from protecting aircraft operator privacy to reinforcing the FAA’s authority over the National Airspace System. The omnibus bill is anticipated to pass the House and the Senate this week and head to the White House for President Joe Biden’s signature, averting a potential government shutdown. 

    For the FAA, lawmakers included a $94 million increase in aviation safety and funding for 223 new certification and inspection employees. The Air Traffic Organization would receive a $340 million boost, with funding for up to 1,500 additional controllers. A key measure in the bill would raise the mandatory retirement age of pilots for large, unscheduled charter operators from 65 to 70. 

    NBAA cited several measures in the bill that it said would bolster the industry, including support for operators to continue to opt-out of real-time aircraft tracking programs. The omnibus package further addresses advanced air mobility (AAM), including an industry-backed provision to provide grants for infrastructure planning. It also encourages the FAA’s work to enable AAM commercial operations and pilot licensing by year-end 2024. 

    In addition, the bill provides for the Department of Transportation to promote aviation career opportunities and includes funding for efforts to reduce aircraft carbon emissions.