Congress passed a six-month funding extension for the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), staving off a potential partial shutdown
of the agency.
The move came late Thursday afternoon, ahead of what would
have been the Sept. 30 expiration of a FAA funding. The FAA is now funded
through March 30.
The extension was necessary because Congress has not passed
a long-term FAA reauthorization bill. The House version of that bill has yet to
reach the floor for a vote due to controversy over a proposal to put a private,
nonprofit organization in charge of air traffic control rather than the FAA. In
the Senate, a floor vote has been held up by a proposal to grant more
exceptions to the rule that requires new commercial airline co-pilots to have
logged at least 1,500-hours of flight times prior to being certified.
Both the House and the Senate approved the funding extension
on Thursday. The extension was lumped into a bill that includes disaster relief
for hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.