Biden signed a sweeping aviation legislation hoping to improve aviation industry practices

Biden Signs Sweeping Aviation Legislation into Law

US President Joe Biden signed sweeping aviation legislation that aims to boosting air traffic controller staffing, to speed up refunds for canceled flights, and prevent close-call runway incidents. 

After signing the legislation, Biden said, “The bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization is a big win for travelers, the aviation workforce, and our economy.” 

He added, “It also builds on my Administration’s efforts to improve the travel experience for airline passengers, affirming the Department of Transportation’s rule that mandated automatic refunds when flights are canceled or significantly delayed.”

Sweeping Aviation Legislation

The $105 billion sweeping aviation legislation passed Congress on Wednesday and the Senate last week. 

This law renews the Federal Aviation Administration’s authority for the next five years. This will also prevent airlines from charging families to sit together. Plus, this will require airlines to have 25-hour cockpit recording devices and raise penalties for airlines that commit consumer violations.  

Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell said, “Following flight disruptions, runway close calls, and consumer frustrations, this law is set to deliver the safest, most reliable aviation system in the world.” 

Following concerns over Boeing’s aircraft and manufacturing practices, Cantwell added, “Plane manufacturers will see more safety inspectors on factory floors and tougher safety standards from the FAA.”

This will also address the shortage of 3,000 air traffic controllers. The law will allow the FAA to hire more inspectors, technical specialists and engineers to resolve the problem. However, this law will not raise the mandatory pilot retirement age to 67.

Surge in Complaints Post-Pandemic

A surge in complaints in 2022 regarding refund rules prompted the Biden administration to make necessary changes. In the process, the Biden administration faced opposition from the aviation industry. Aside from signing the sweeping aviation legislation into law, the Biden administration also prevented further consolidation among airlines. This includes the tie-up between JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines. 

The necessity for legislation became even more pressing following reports of aviation industry-related safety issues. There were near-miss incidents, and when a Boeing 737 Max 9’s door plug blew off on an Alaska Airlines flight. 

FAA administrator Mike Whitaker said this law “allows for more runway safety technology, more air traffic controllers and stronger oversight of aircraft production.”

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John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.


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