H.R. 4: FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018

GulfCharlie

Comrade Commissar
Messages
1,247
On April 13, leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee introduced the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R.4), a five-year bill to reauthorize the agency that is free of any proposal to privatize the air traffic control system. H.R.4 was introduced in the House by the entire bipartisan leadership of the committee and its six subcommittees, including T&I Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), T&I Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Aviation Subcommittee Chair Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), and Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-Wash.). Shuster was the most vocal proponent of privatization before he abandoned that plan earlier this year.

For the full link, to be read at your leisure, Text of H.R. 4: FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Introduced version) - GovTrack.us

Below are some changes (FYI MASSIVE WALL OF TEXT):

Section 804(a) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 44501 note) is amended—

(1)
in paragraph (2) by striking The purpose of the report shall be— and all that follows through (B) to reduce and inserting The purpose of the report shall be to reduce; and

(2)
by striking paragraph (4) and inserting the following:


(4)
Input
The report shall be prepared by the Administrator (or the Administrator’s designee) with the participation of—
(A)
representatives of labor organizations representing air traffic control system employees of the FAA; and
(B)
industry stakeholders.

505.
Right to privacy when using air traffic control system

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall, upon request of a private aircraft owner or operator, block the registration number of the aircraft of the owner or operator from any public dissemination or display, except in data made available to a Government agency, for the noncommercial flights of the owner or operator.

510.
Remote tower pilot program for rural and small communities


(a)
In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall establish a pilot program under which, upon approval of an application submitted by an operator of a public-use airport, the Secretary shall install and operate at the airport a remote air traffic control tower in order to assess the operational benefits of remote air traffic control towers.

(b)
Applications

The operator of an airport seeking to participate in the pilot program shall submit to the Secretary for approval an application that is in such form and contains such information as the Secretary may require.

(c)
Selection criteria

(1)
Selection of airports

From among the applications submitted under subsection (b), the Secretary, after consultation with representatives of labor organizations representing operators and employees of the air traffic control system, shall select for participation in the pilot program 7 airports as follows:

(A)
1 nonhub, primary airport.

(B)
3 nonprimary airports without existing air traffic control towers.

(C)
2 airports with air traffic control towers participating in a program established under section 47124 of title 49, United States Code.

(D)
1 airport selected at the discretion of the Secretary.

(2)
Priority selection

In selecting from among the applications submitted under subsection (b), the Secretary shall give priority to applicants that can best demonstrate the capabilities and potential of remote air traffic control towers, including applicants proposing to operate multiple remote air traffic control towers from a single facility.

(3)
Authority to reallocate airport selection

If the Secretary receives an insufficient number of applications, the Secretary may reallocate the distribution of airport sites described in paragraph (1).

(d)
Safety risk management panel

(1)
Safety risk management panel meeting

Prior to the operational use of a remote air traffic control tower, the Secretary shall convene a safety risk management panel for the tower to address any safety issues with respect to the tower.

(2)
Safety risk management panel best practices

The safety risk management panels shall be created and utilized in a manner similar to that of safety risk management panels previously established for remote air traffic control towers, taking into account—

(A)
best practices that have been developed; and

(B)
operational data from remote air traffic control towers located in the United States.

(e)
Airport improvement program

The pilot program shall be eligible for airport improvement funding under chapter 471 of title 49, United States Code.

(f)
Possible expansion of program

Not later than 30 days after the date that the first remote air traffic control tower is commissioned, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish a repeatable process by which future certified remote air traffic control tower systems may be commissioned at additional airports.

(g)
Definitions

(1)
In general

In this section, the following definitions apply:

(A)
Air navigation facility

The term air navigation facility has the meaning given that term in section 40102(a) of title 49, United States Code.

(B)
Remote air traffic control tower

The term remote air traffic control tower means a remotely operated air navigation facility, including all necessary system components, that provides the functions and capabilities of an air traffic control tower.

(2)
Applicability of other definitions

The terms nonhub airport, primary airport, and public-use airport have the meanings given such terms in section 47102 of title 49, United States Code.

(h)
Sunset

The pilot program shall terminate on the date that is 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act.


524.
Federal Aviation Administration workforce review


(a)
In general

Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a review to assess the workforce and training needs of the Federal Aviation Administration (in this section referred to as the FAA) in the anticipated budgetary environment.

(b)
Contents

In conducting the review, the Comptroller General shall—

(1)
identify the long-term workforce and training needs of the FAA workforce;

(2)
assess the impact of automation, digitalization, and artificial intelligence on the FAA workforce;

(3)
analyze the skills and qualifications required of the FAA workforce for successful performance in the current and future projected aviation environment;

(4)
review current performance incentive policies of the FAA, including awards for performance;

(5)
analyze ways in which the FAA can work with industry and labor, including labor groups representing the FAA workforce, to establish knowledge-sharing opportunities between the FAA and the aviation industry regarding new equipment and systems, best practices, and other areas of interest; and

(6)
develop recommendations on the most effective qualifications, training programs (including e-learning training), and performance incentive approaches to address the needs of the future projected aviation regulatory system in the anticipated budgetary environment.

(c)
Report

Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the results of the review.


526.
Aviation and aerospace workforce of the future


(a)
Findings

Congress finds that—

(1)
in 2016, United States air carriers carried a record high number of passengers on domestic flights, 719 million passengers;

(2)
the United States aerospace and defense industry employed 1.7 million workers in 2015, or roughly 2 percent of the Nation’s total employment base;

(3)
the average salary of an employee in the aerospace and defense industry is 44 percent above the national average;

(4)
in 2015, the aerospace and defense industry contributed nearly $202.4 billion in value added to the United States economy;

(5)
an effective aviation industry relies on individuals with unique skill sets, many of which can be directly obtained through career and technical education opportunities; and

(6)
industry and the Federal Government have taken some actions to attract qualified individuals to careers in aviation and aerospace and to retain qualified individuals in such careers.



527.
Future aviation and aerospace workforce study


(a)
In general

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study—

(1)
to identify the factors influencing the supply of individuals pursuing a career in the aviation or aerospace industry; and

(2)
to identify best practices or programs to incentivize, recruit, and retain young people in aviation and aerospace professions.

(b)
Consultation

The Comptroller General shall conduct the study in consultation with—

(1)
appropriate Federal agencies; and

(2)
the aviation and aerospace industry, institutions of higher education, and labor stakeholders.

(c)
Report to Congress

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the results of the study and related recommendations.

534.
Prohibitions against smoking on passenger flights


Section 41706 of title 49, United States Code, is amended—

(1)
by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (e); and

(2)
by inserting after subsection (c) the following:


(d)
Electronic cigarettes
(1)
Inclusion
The use of an electronic cigarette shall be treated as smoking for purposes of this section.
(2)
Electronic cigarette defined
In this section, the term electronic cigarette means a device that delivers nicotine to a user of the device in the form of a vapor that is inhaled to simulate the experience of smoking.
 

GulfBravoPapa

⭐SuperStar
Messages
1,362
Oh good, no smoking on flights.

On a serious note... I saw something on Facebook yesterday about a little known bit in this bill basically making small aircraft like Uber. Allowing the pilot the ability to pass on their portion of fees to the passengers. Any info on this? I'll need to look through the whole bill otherwise.... Sounds dangerous because I do not believe it required logs or proof of ratings.
 

GulfCharlie

Comrade Commissar
Messages
1,247
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 4) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 13. This bill would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and authorize the tax authority into and expenditure from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (Aviation Trust Fund) for five years, through the end of Fiscal Year 2023.

The legislation was introduced by Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), along with Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA). This bill is bipartisan, with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans as original cosponsors. House leaders are planning for H.R. 4 to be considered on the floor later this week. H.R. 4 is based on the 21st Century AIRR Act, however it does not include the section that would have established a Congressionally chartered, not-for-profit corporation to operate the air traffic control system.

NATCA has carefully reviewed the proposed legislation and has concluded that we support the bipartisan base bill, as it can help provide a more stable funding stream by reauthorizing the FAA and the Aviation Trust Fund through 2023.

Over the past week, members of Congress have proposed over 250 amendments to the bill. We have been poring over the proposed amendments to determine those we support or oppose. Last night the House Rules Committee held a hearing to determine which amendments to the bill would be considered "in order." Two of the more controversial proposals were removed from a submitted amendment. Those proposals would have restructured the Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer position and replaced the current Management Advisory Council with a new body. Those proposals are no longer part of the proposed amendment and therefore will no longer be considered as part of the floor debate on H.R. 4.

We have and will continue to advocate strongly to improve legislation that affects NATCA's members and to fight against any proposed legislation that would do us harm. NATCA has been and continues to coordinate with the aforementioned Congressional leaders and their staffs as this bill works its way through the legislative process and onto the House floor later this week.

We will keep you informed regarding developments about this FAA reauthorization bill as well as any other legislative issues as they arise.

In solidarity,

Paul Rinaldi, NATCA President
Trish Gilbert, NATCA Executive Vice President
 

GulfCharlie

Comrade Commissar
Messages
1,247
As of right now the bill would take the Aviation Trust Fund out of the appropriations process thus keeping us away from any Government shutdowns. If this bill passes it would be a huge win for not just NATCA but the entire country as it would provide the stable funding that we have been needing to hire and modernize. There is expected to be push back from some Appropriators so I don’t know what the odds of this bill passing are. And of course lots of things could change. (Working on getting the text)
 

SpaceTraffic

Member
Messages
42
Somewhat surprised NATCA isn't pushing this bill as hard as the AIRR act. It seems like this bill is everything the membership ever wanted. Where are the letters to the editors?? where are the email and phone call campaigns trying to push this through?
 

GulfCharlie

Comrade Commissar
Messages
1,247
Update 3:
The FAA Reauthorisation Act of 2018 (H.R. 4) was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives on April 13. This bill would reauthorise the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and authorise the tax authority into and expenditure from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (ATF)for five years, through the end of Fiscal Year 2023. (Awaiting information if this will include salaries, operations, and maintenance)
 

GulfCharlie

Comrade Commissar
Messages
1,247
Somewhat surprised NATCA isn't pushing this bill as hard as the AIRR act. It seems like this bill is everything the membership ever wanted. Where are the letters to the editors?? where are the email and phone call campaigns trying to push this through?


Dunno, haven't received any legislative emails saying: call, email, advise your facility. I have some personal thoughts and opinions but I feel quite a few people already know them :p

It should also be noted, I believe this was part of DeFazio's bill back in 2015 (my memory, might not be 100% accurate)
 

MJ

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
2,632
Somewhat surprised NATCA isn't pushing this bill as hard as the AIRR act. It seems like this bill is everything the membership ever wanted. Where are the letters to the editors?? where are the email and phone call campaigns trying to push this through?
Was thinking the same. I didn’t pour over the bill so I thought maybe I was missing something, but to me it read like “here’s your money, no one can mess with it” with no stipulations.
 

GulfCharlie

Comrade Commissar
Messages
1,247
Was thinking the same. I didn’t pour over the bill so I thought maybe I was missing something, but to me it read like “here’s your money, no one can mess with it” with no stipulations.


Essentially. Expect the appropriators to fight it tooth and nail though. That being said, I have no idea what the checks and balances will be against us blowing all the money on equipment, salaries, I just don't know and am awaiting clarification.
 

GulfCharlie

Comrade Commissar
Messages
1,247
Brothers and Sisters,

HR 4, the bi-partisan FAA Reauthorization bill passed the house a few moments ago by a vote of 398-13! It contains no harmful language to NATCA and has no language removing ATC from the government. It will now be passed to the Senate who has its own version of the bill. The Senate will decide whether to work with Houses version or proceed with its own. The National Office will more than likely put out more on this later today but I wanted to hilight and article from PoliticoPro that was published today. I believe it shows the power of our union and the power of our PAC. Specifically the paragraph in bold.

  1. One of the most controversial amendments to the FAA bill (H.R. 4 (115)) — a provision forbidding states from setting their own requirements for trucker meal and rest breaks — was adopted to the FAA bill today. The amendment, by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Cailf.), was adopted 222-193.
  2. Rep. Peter DeFazio's amendment to allow the FAA to set its own safety standards for the transport of lithium batteries — rather than abide by what he called the "lowest common denominator" rules set by international regulators — was defeated 192-223.
  3. A passenger rights amendment by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), failed 92-323. The amendment would have directed DOT to require airlines to either help passengers find flights on other airlines or provide accommodations if they are delayed due to events within an airline's control.Two aircraft noise amendments also failed.
  4. One by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Karen Bass (D-Calif.), would have required aircraft to fly "no lower than is absolutely necessary" over coastal communities. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association had asked members to oppose the provision; it failed 37-375.
  5. Another amendment directing the FAA to work with carriers to retrofit aircraft with devices that mitigate noise, went down 187-227.And, an amendment by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) barring enforcement of Davis-Bacon wage requirements failed 172-243.
 

DankVectorz

Legendary Member
FAA
Messages
1,547
Facility
N90 New York Tracon
One by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Karen Bass (D-Calif.), would have required aircraft to fly "no lower than is absolutely necessary" over coastal communities. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association had asked members to oppose the provision; it failed 37-375.

Sorry rich folk, you're just going to have to deal with the peasants flying over you
 

GulfCharlie

Comrade Commissar
Messages
1,247
On Friday, April 27, the House of Representatives took a very big step in
passing FAA reauthorization (H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018)
by a vote of 393-13.
The five-year, bipartisan bill authorizes $71 billion for the operations, F&E
and RED accounts at the FAA from fiscal year 2019 through fiscal year
2023. The House will officially transmit the bill to the Senate sometime the
first week of May.
AMENDMENT PROCESS PRIOR TO HOUSE PASSAGE:
Prior to consideration of H.R. 4, over 250 amendments were filed with the
House Rules Committee, which is the committee responsible for determining
how the bill will be considered on the House floor and which amendments
will be “made in order.” NATCA staff collectively flagged over 30
amendments of interest that needed further review to determine if the
proposed amendments would have a direct impact on NATCA; NATCA took
a position on 16 of those amendments. We worked with amendment sponsors,
the Transportation & Infrastructure Majority and Minority Committee staff,
and House Leadership, and had success in getting some withdrawn or not
made in order.
In all, 6 amendments that NATCA opposed were made in order, and we
wanted to make sure to go over those six:
·
#25 Sanford/Davis Amendment re: Hobbyist Drones
Reps. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) offered an amendment
regarding recreational UAS. After analysis by NATCA Policy and
Safety/Tech, NATCA determined that we OPPOSED the amendment due to
concern that the amendment only required "notification" for hobbyist drones
versus "authorization" from air traffic control, as well as a decrease from 5 to
3 miles from an airport for notification. We reviewed our concerns/position
with Reps. Sanford & Davis offices that without language edits, NATCA
would oppose the amendment.
We have a close relationship with both offices, and as soon as we expressed
our opposition, they immediately worked to address our concerns and offered
to change the language of the amendment so that NATCA could support it.
NATCA recommended new language that would change it to "authorization"
versus notification, and increased the miles for notification back to 5.
Unfortunately, we ran against the clock and by the time our recommended
changes were made and accepted, the Rules Committee had just adjourned.
As a result, the old version of the amendment was headed to the House floor,
the version that NATCA opposed.
NATCA staff continued to work with both offices on finding a path to get the
NATCA-supported language changed in the amendment. By working with
the Speaker's office, the House Parliamentarian, the T&I Committee staff
(both Majority and Minority), and the Rules Committee, we were able to get
an "amendment to the amendment," which would change the language to
what NATCA supports. This "amendment to the amendment"
required Unanimous Consent (UC) when the amendment was considered on
the House floor. UC is tricky, since it requires unanimous support of the
House, and any single member could block by the UC by opposing on the
Floor.

At the same time, Ranking Member Peter DeFazio had a dueling UAS
amendment that NATCA also supported. We worked with Ranking Member
DeFazio's office on our plan to get the Sanford/Davis amendment passed with
NATCA support. We received a commitment that DeFazio would not oppose
the UC. On the House floor, both the DeFazio and Sanford/Davis
amendments were made "en bloc" with other amendments, meaning they
were considered together as a package with other amendments. In a victory
for NATCA, the UC was achieved and the amendment was changed to
include the NATCA language as part of the Sanford/Davis amendment.
The "en bloc" amendment package was adopted by voice, meaning both the
DeFazio and Sanford/Davis amendments were included, both of which were
supported by NATCA. Due to the varying nature of the amendments, it is
expected that the language will be worked out when the House FAA bill goes
to conference with the Senate bill. NATCA will continue to advocate for our
language on this UAS issue.
·
#60 Rohrabacher/Bass Amendment re: Flight Altitudes
Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Karen Bass (D-CA) offered an
amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill to direct the Administrator of the
FAA to ensure that all aircraft transitioning from flight over ocean to flight
over land “shall fly at a safe altitude.” It further stated that such altitude “shall
be not be lower than specific flight operations require.”
NATCA staff attempted to work with both Rohrabacher’s and Bass’ staff. But
since both Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio had signed off
on the amendment, there was no real interest to work with NATCA on the
amendment. It was bipartisan and it was going to pass overwhelmingly.
After the NATCA team carefully reviewed the amendment language, they
recognized the wide range of negative effects this amendment would have on
the safety and efficiency of the national airspace system. Once the
determination was made to oppose the amendment, we worked with
leadership and T&I staff on both sides of the aisle (we reached out to
Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio to notify of our position),
worked on finding whips against the amendment, conveyed numerous
targeted emails and statements to Capitol Hill with strong opposition to the
amendment and asked Members to VOTE NO and support NATCA. The
National Legislative Committee chair sat in NATCA’s Government Affairs
offices as calls were made to Members of Congress and staff and we
coordinated immediate follow up from the field. During consideration of the
amendment on the House Floor, Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (who was
initially supportive of the amendment) announced on the House floor that he
‘heard concerns and opposition directly from the National Air Traffic
Controllers Association and this changed his view of the amendment so that
he now stood as NATCA’s ally in opposition to the amendment. Ranking
Member DeFazio firmly reiterated NATCA’s concerns about the amendment
on the Floor to his colleagues – altitudes should not be set based on anything
but the safe and efficient flow of air traffic and it could jeopardize the safety
and efficiency of the system, among other reasons. In a victory for NATCA,
the amendment failed by a vote of 37-375. 210 Republicans and 174
Democrats supported NATCA in voting NO.
·
#95 DeSaulnier Amendment re: Voluntary Safety Reporting
Rep. DeSaulnier’s (D-CA) amendment requires a progress report from the
DOT IG on improving the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing
program. The NATCA Team was concerned that this amendment could have a
negative effect on ATSAP because it could discourage air traffic controllers
and other aviation safety professionals from sharing critical safety data. When
we spoke to Rep. DeSaulnier’s staff regarding this amendment, it turned out
that it was an ALPA amendment. NATCA’s Safety Committee Chairman
Steve Hansen spoke to the ALPA lead about our concerns and ALPA reported
back that they had spoken to NATCA and understood NATCA’s concerns, and
they would stay silent on the amendment.
NATCA staff and the National Safety Committee Chair held calls with ALPA
and Rep. DeSaulnier’s staffer. The staffer reminded us that the Congressman
is a big supporter of NATCA and recently did a facility visit. He said that the
Congressman gave his personal commitment to work with NATCA moving
forward to address our concern on the IG report.
·
#72 Fleischmann Amendment re: Runway Construction
Rep. Fleischmann’s (R-TN) amendment requires that, if the Secretary of
Transportation determines that safety is not affected, highway specifications
of a state may be used for airfield pavement construction and improvement at
non-primary airports with aircraft under 60,000 pounds. NATCA Team held
many phone calls with Rep. Fleischmann’s staff and the National Association
of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) to discuss NATCA’s concerns with the
amendment, specifically with regard to safety and technical concerns.
There were no objections to the amendment on Capitol Hill from House
Committees, Members of Congress or the aviation industry. Ultimately, the
House T&I Committee and the FAA supported the amendment and it was
adopted “en bloc” on the House floor along with a large group of other
amendments, some of which NATCA supported. Nevertheless, Rep.
Fleischmann and NASAO appreciated our input and agreed to work with
NATCA moving forward when the House FAA bill goes to conference with
the Senate bill.
·
#63 King Amendment re: Davis-Bacon
The amendment prohibited funds to implement, administer, or enforce the
prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act. This amendment was
defeated by a vote of 172-243.
·
#112 McClintock Amendment re: Essential Air Service
This amendment would have eliminated the authorization for the Essential
Air Service. Members of Congress who opposed the amendment spoke on the
House floor regarding their concerns, highlighting that EAS is often the only
transportation option in the communities it serves. This amendment would
have gone against NATCA’s “Four Core Principles” for FAA Reform. As
such, NATCA opposed the amendment.
H.R. 4 OUTLOOK IN THE SENATE:
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee marked up its
FAA bill last June (S. 1405), but the bill has been held up due to a number of
controversial issues. Commerce Chairman John Thune has stated publicly and
personally to NATCA that those issues will not be obstacles to Senate
passage. He has also told us on a number of occasions that if the House passes
their version, he wants to move on an FAA bill quickly but there are two key
obstacles: Senate floor time and politics—the latter being the more serious
challenge.
As mentioned in previous updates, the FAA bill is the last legislative vehicle
with a tax title that will move through the senate for the remainder of the year.
The FAA bill contains a revenue title that would extend the taxes that fund the
Airport and Airway Trust Fund (e.g., fuel tax, airfare tax, etc.). More
importantly, the revenue title provides a placeholder for just about any other
tax provisions — which in an election year could cause problematic votes.
Bottom-line
:
We expect the conversation in the Senate to heat up in May and
potentially into the summer. The current FAA extension runs through the end
of FY2018 (September 30, 2018). I know it is early, but another FAA
extension (or more) remains a reality—one that could carry our issue into a
lame duck Congress in December, or possibly into next year.
What that means for NATCA
:
We will shift gears to focus on FAA
Reauthorization on the Senate side starting next week with Senate committee
and personal staff meetings. While the outlook in the Senate is murky, we
have to be prepared for all possibilities, including relatively quick action in
the Senate. While that is extremely unlikely this week, it is possible and we
must remain vigilant
 
Top Bottom