Summary of Shuster Manager’s Amendment to H.R. 4, FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018
April 24, 2018
The following is a summary of the third and final version of House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman Bill Shuster’s (R-PA) “manager’s amendment to H.R. 4, the FAA reauthorization bill. This is the version made in order by the Rules Committee for House action. This final version had the provisions reforming the air traffic control MAC and the change of supervision of the air traffic control COO removed.
The text of the amendment can be read here. Page and line numbers in the amendment refer to those in this version of H.R. 4, and references to sections of the United States Code can be cross-referenced at uscode.house.gov.
SUMMARY OF SHUSTER MANAGER’S AMENDMENT TO H.R. 4 – VERSION FINALLY MADE IN ORDER
- Amends sec. 102(b) of the bill, in turn amending 49 U.S.C. §48101(c) to make remote control towers, cybersecurity, DataComm, deferred air navigation maintenance, Civil Aviation Registry modernization, Priority 1 NAS facility construction, and programs to reduce FAA facility operating costs eligible for appropriations for Facilities and Equipment.
- Amends sec. 102 and 103 of the bill increasing the Facilities and Equipment authorizations and the Operations authorizations for each fiscal year to equal the 2018 enacted appropriations plus the estimated CBO inflation adjustment for each year thereafter. (CBO will soon update its spring spending baseline to reflect FY 2018 enacted appropriations as a starting point.)
- Amends sec. 103 of the bill, in turn amending 49 U.S.C. §106(k)(2) to make specific amounts of the Operations authorization each year set aside for commercial space transportation.
- Adds a new section to the bill amending 49 U.S.C. §47115 to create a new supplemental funding authorization for the Airport Improvement Program from general fund appropriations, starting in FY 2019 with $1.02 billion and rising to $1.11 billion in FY 2023. Funds so appropriated can be made available for any purpose eligible under 49 U.S.C. §48103, shall be treated as being made under the Secretary’s discretionary fund authority, shall not be held against formula money, and may not be given to large hub airports. The federal share is to be a maximum of 80 percent but lower federal shares are encouraged.
- Amends sec. 451 of the bill to increase the funding for Essential Air Service (discretionary appropriations only) for each year.
When the funding authorization amendments listed above are made, funding authorizations under H.R. 4 look like so:
- Adds a new section to the bill amending 49 U.S.C. §47102(3)(B)(ii) to make counter-UAS systems AIP-eligible.
- Strikes section 309 of the bill (“Funding for Additional Safety Needs”).
- Strikes section 310 of the bill (“Funding for Additional FAA Licensing Needs”).
- Adds a new section to the bill requiring a joint FAA-NTSB study of general aviation safety since the year 2000, commencing within 30 days of enactment and to be reported to Congress within one year of enactment.
- Adds a new section to the bill directing the FAA to issue a Call to Action safety review on airline engine safety within 90 days of enactment.
- Adds a new section to the bill adding a new 49 U.S.C. §44737 creating special flight rules for aircraft with special experimental airworthiness certificates for commercial space transportation.
- Adds a new section to the bill amending 49 U.S.C. §40102(a) adding official legal definitions for the purposes of Part A of Subtitle VII of title 49 for “counter-UAS system,” “public unmanned aircraft system,” “small unmanned aircraft,” “unmanned aircraft,” “unmanned aircraft system,” and “UTM.”
- Amends sec. 412 of the bill to expand the number of participants from the air ambulance industry on the Advisory Committee on Air Ambulance Transparency.
- Adds a new section to the bill amending 49 U.S.C. §44734(a) to require all flight crews to be trained in how to handle sexual misconduct allegations.
- Adds a new section to the bill creating an aviation sexual misconduct incident working group at DOT.
- Adds a new section to the bill adding a new 49 U.S.C. §42305 requiring the Secretary to develop an “Airline Passengers With Disabilities Bill of Rights” to be displayed prominently on all airline websites and in pre-flight communications with disabled passengers.
- Adds a new section to the bill amending 49 U.S.C. §46301(a) to triple the maximum allowable civil penalties for persons who injure disabled airline passengers or damage their wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
- Adds a new section to the bill requiring DOT to conduct a rulemaking to standardize the term “service animal” in air transportation and develop minimum standards for the same.
- Strikes section 444 of the bill (“Access Advisory Committee Recommendations”).
- Amends section 502 of the bill to add an amendment to the 2012 FAA authorization law to prohibit TRACON and radar facility consolidations where in 2015 the annual military operations at the facility were at least 40 percent of total TRACON operations at the facility.
- Adds a new section to the bill requiring DOT to negotiate special treatment for FAA employees on Guam with the Pentagon.
- Adds a new section to the bill ordering the FAA to allow aircraft owners to accept in-kind or monetary donations for “living history” flights.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL REFORM
- Adds a new section to the bill revising 49 U.S.C. §106(s) to replace the office of the Chief NextGen Officer with a Chief Technology Officer reporting directly to the COO and defines the role of the CTO.
- Adds a new section to the bill requiring the FAA Administrator and the ATC COO to designate a liaison on commercial space transportation to work together on CST and other matters.
- Adds a new section to the bill ordering the FAA to complete covered upgrades to the Civil Aviation Registry within three years of enactment. Adds a new 49 U.S.C. §45306 to order the FAA to impose and collect a surcharge on Civil Aviation Registry transactions, not to exceed twice the maximum fee currently allowed for non-commercial aircraft registration.
- Adds a new section to the bill requiring the FAA, within one year of enactment, to issue a final rule revising 14 CFR 121.333(c)(3) (oxygen masks) to apply to flights above flight level 410.
- Adds a new section to the bill requiring the DOT Inspector General to audit the FAA Administrative Services Franchise Fund.
- Adds a new section to the bill requiring the ATC COO to report to Congress on the history and status of ATC modernization (NextGen) and its economic benefits, which shall in turn be reviewed by the DOT Inspector General.
- Adds a new section to the bill repealing sec. 211(b) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act (ADS-B “In” equipage mandate).
- Adds a new section to the bill directing the FAA to establish an Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force.
- Adds a new section to the bill amending 49 U.S.C. §47134 reforming the airport privatization pilot program by eliminating the limitation on the number of airports that can participate and by allowing the FAA to consider an application from one public airport sponsor to enter multiple airports into the program. Allows a purchase or lessee to be an entity in which a sponsor has an interest. Amends 49 U.S.C. §47102(3) to make predevelopment planning for entry into the privatization plan eligible for AIP grants but in an amount of no more than $750,000.
- Adds a new section to the bill establishing an independent advisory panel to review and evaluate the effectiveness of the FAA’s personnel management system and performance management program, and to make recommendations for improvement.
- Adds a new section to the bill amending section 2306(b) of the 2016 FAA extension to extend authority for the contract weather observers program through 2023.
- Adds a new section to the bill amending 49 U.S.C. §44507 requiring the Secretary to define the roles and responsibilities of the William J. Hughes Technical Center.