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Rep. Sewell votes for FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024

The FAA Reauthorization Act passed the House today by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote.

Rep. Terri Sewell
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U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, AL-07, on Wednesday, voted in favor of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years. The bill will maintain American leadership in aviation safety and aerospace innovation, improve passenger protections and accessibility, strengthen and diversify the U.S. aviation workforce, and make groundbreaking investments in sustainability and resiliency.

The FAA Reauthorization Act passed the House today by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 387 to 26. Having previously passed the Senate, it will now make its way to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

“Americans depend on the Federal Aviation Administration for safe and reliable air travel,” said Rep. Sewell. “With this strong, bipartisan legislation, we are ensuring that the FAA can continue its essential mission for years to come.”

“I am particularly excited about the new protections for airline passengers included in this bill,” continued Sewell. “Thanks to provisions secured by Democrats, Americans will finally be able to sit next to young family members at no cost, and passengers will enjoy additional protections when their flights are delayed or canceled. We also authorized additional funding to recruit workers from underrepresented communities so that we can build a more diverse and inclusive aviation workforce.”

Rep. Sewell and Congressional Democrats secured key wins in the FAA Reauthorization Act:

Improves and Expands Protections and Accessibility for Passengers:

  • It requires airlines to refund passengers with nonrefundable flights when their flight is canceled, significantly delayed, or changed if they choose not to fly on the delayed or changed flight.
  • It directs DOT to require airlines to develop policies addressing reimbursement for passengers for hotel and meal costs when a flight is canceled or significantly delayed.
  • It directs DOT to establish regulations requiring airlines to allow passengers to sit next to their young child to the greatest extent practical at no additional cost.

Strengthens and Diversifies the U.S. Aviation Workforce:

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  • It significantly increases funding for the FAA’s aviation workforce development grants to $60 million to strengthen our talent pipeline of pilots, aviation maintenance technical workers, and aviation manufacturing workers. It also transitions these grants to a new Cooperative Aviation Recruitment, Enrichment, and Employment Readiness (CAREER) grant program, with broader eligibility to promote workforce development opportunities.
  • It also sets aside 20 percent of the total $60 million in funds for the Willa Brown Aviation Education Program to support outreach and educational opportunities in low-income communities.
  • It encourages the FAA to continue its outreach and engagement with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to promote awareness of educational and career opportunities. It also directs the FAA to continue the operation of the MSI Internship Program.

Bill text is available here.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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