President Obama on Friday signed the reauthorization package that funds the FAA through September 2017.
The signing came on the day that the most recent short-term extension of FAA funding was set to expire. The House and Senate had hurriedly passed the reauthorization package early last week.
Among other measures, the bill expands the TSA Precheck program, tightens vetting standards for airport employees and expands canine deployment in airports. In addition, it redeploys TSA personnel to optimize checkpoints and mandates security assessments of all foreign airports that serve the U.S.
New consumer protections in the bill include a requirement that airlines refund baggage fees for items that are either lost or arrive after an unreasonable delay. Also, airlines are required to seat children 13 and under next to an accompanying older family member “to the maximum extent practicable and at no additional cost.”