Venable partner, James H. Burnley IV, was featured in an article in the August 15, 2016, issue of Business Travel News discussing FAA reauthorization. In July, a bill funding the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration through Sept. 30, 2017, became law. The reauthorization also expanded the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck program and addressed consumer protections for lost luggage but did not include a provision turning the nation's air traffic control system into a self-funding, nonprofit entity.
BTN: What are your initial thoughts on the reauthorization terms?
Mr. Burnley: The best news is that the extension is for as long as it is, 14 months. The last go-round, Congress passed 23 short-term extensions before it was finally able to pass a multiyear reauthorization bill. That is so disruptive, particularly to the airport grants program; the ripple effect plays out at airports all over America. Until there's a multiyear reauthorization bill, the FAA can't write checks for more than the period of time for which it's authorized. It creates an enormous workload for people administering the program, it creates uncertainty and, for people managing the airport, it makes it impossible to get longer-term grants. We've avoided all that. If we have to have an extension, it's a good thing it's as long as it is.