The U.S. Senate approved an extension of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding authority until March 8, 2024, averting a potential shut down of non-critical FAA operations and services. While the House of Representatives passed its extension on December 11, 2023, the bill was held up in the Senate by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) over disagreements on funding for border security and aid for Ukraine. Senator Bennet lifted his hold yesterday, December 19, 2023, which clears the measure for President Biden’s signature.
The extension provides more time for the Senate to attempt to reach a compromise on its FAA reauthorization proposal. The Senate bill has been in limbo for months now as agreement on potentially changing the retirement age of pilots and minimum pilot training hours remain elusive. Discussions have reportedly continued to take place and will continue into the new year.