Congress has once again agreed on a temporary funding
extension for the Federal Aviation Administration.
The six-month extension was included in the massive 2018
appropriations bill signed by President Trump on Friday.
The extension came eight days ahead of the deadline for
Congress to reauthorize the FAA in order to avoid a partial shutdown of the
agency. The FAA has been funded for the past six months by a similar short-term
measure while Congress struggles to agree upon a longer-term reauthorization.
A major cause for the deadlock, however, went away last
month when House transportation committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-Penn.) threw
in the towel on a controversial effort to remove operational management of the
U.S. air traffic control network from the FAA and turn it over to a non-profit
entity government by a board of aviation-interest stakeholders.
A long-term reauthorization bill, however, could still spark
debates over issues such as pilot training requirements, the regulation of
commercial aircraft seat configurations and laws surrounding drone operations.