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House Passes FAA Reauthorization Bill

The House has passed their version of the FAA Reauthorization Bill.  It passed by a vote of 223-196.

A summary of the bill can be found online at http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr658.  The bill text (before amendments) can be found online.

The bill cuts FAA funding by $4 billion over the next four years.

The bill adds production privileges to Certified Design Organizations (CDO), turning them in to Certified Design and Production Organizations (CDPOs).  The bill also affirms the deadline for CDPO is January 1, 2013.

The bill requires a study of certification and approval mechanisms.  It must estimate the expected number of applications for production certifications and approvals and recommend process reforms necessary to allow the Administrator to review and approve the applications in a fair and timely fashion.  Congress also expects the study to address methods for enhancing the effective use of delegation systems, including organizational designation authorization (ODA).

The bill would establish an advisory committee to address inconsistent regulatory interpretation.

The bill reverses a recent decision of the National Mediation Board (NMB), which we had discussed in this blog on June 2, 2010. The NMB decision made it easier for unions to organize employers in the airline and rail industries, and conformed these industries with the labor practices of other industries; however, the decision had changed 75 years of precedent in the airline and rail industries.  The Bill wold reverse the decision and return collective bargaining to the status quo.

The bill would also strengthen the FAA’s requirements to perform certain cost-benefit analysis.  The recent drug-testing-reg-flex debacle had undermined public confidence in the FAA’s ability to perform statutorily-required cost-benefit analysis.

The bill would require the FAA to verify that each certified foreign repair station has been subject to a safety assessment.

The bill must be conferenced with the Senate version in order to come up with a final version.

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About Jason Dickstein

Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. He represents several aviation trade associations, including the Aviation Suppliers Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.

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