Senate Makes Headway on Bipartisan, Consumer-Friendly FAA Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act:

“I’ve been pleased to see the progress we’ve made on the FAA Reauthorization Act, and I appreciate the Senators who’ve worked with the bill managers to process amendments — like those to bolster airport security.

“Last evening we processed another set of amendments to help make this good bill an even better one.

“One such amendment, offered by Senator Flake, would help improve communication between the FAA and local airports in order to provide a greater say for local stakeholders in the management of the airspace near their own airports. This will benefit communities and airports across the country, including at Kentucky’s own Louisville airport. I appreciate Senator Flake’s leadership on this issue and was pleased to see this provision included in the overall bill.

“I’d encourage members who have ideas they think would strengthen the bill to continue working with bill managers so we can move this legislation forward.

“So let's continue working today to take the next steps in seeing this consumer-friendly FAA Reauthorization and airport security bill through to passage. This bill contains a number of important measures to increase security in our airports and the skies. It also takes more steps to look out for airline passengers. Here’s how.

“It will improve information about seat availability and create a standard for information on fee disclosures. It will require airlines to offer refunds to customers whose bags are lost or who’ve paid for services they didn’t receive. It will also maintain rural access and help improve travel for passengers with disabilities.

“I know there are some who think we should go further and re-regulate the airline industry. But we know that deregulation has helped make air travel more accessible and more affordable for families and business travelers to get from point A to point B. I know there are some who also think Washington bureaucrats should define what constitutes a reasonable fee. But we want consumers to make that choice for themselves. That’s why this bipartisan bill includes the important consumer protection provisions I mentioned earlier, and we know this bipartisan legislation is the result of months of dedicated work by Chairman Thune and his counterpart Senator Nelson. It sets new requirements for making sure consumers understand what fees they could face for certain ancillary services, and then — importantly — it holds airlines accountable for delivering to consumers.

“This is common-sense legislation. It’s the product of Senators working across the aisle on behalf of the American people. Let’s continue working together to move it forward.”

Related Issues: Regulations, FAA