US President Biden has officially signed the new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorisation Act of 2024 into law: outlining a diverse range of measures to improve safety measures, invest in airport infrastructure, and protect consumer and worker rights.

The President described the bipartisan legislation as “a big win for travellers, the aviation workforce, and our economy,” adding that “it will expand critical protections for air travellers, strengthen safety standards, and support pilots, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers”.

The US House of Representatives had previously approved the five-year bill on 15 May, following broad bipartisan support reflected by a 387-26 vote. “The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 is one of the farthest reaching, most consequential pieces of legislation this House will consider in its 118th Congress,” highlighted Transport and Infrastructure Chairman Sam Graves. “This comprehensive bill improves our aviation system’s safety, infrastructure, and workforce. It will enhance the FAA’s efficiency and the overall passenger experience, while encouraging domestic innovation in aviation”.

The FAA Reauthorisation Act of 2024’s broad-reaching intentions span several sectors. “Targeted changes to the organisational structure of the FAA [will] improve overall efficiency of the agency, allow for innovation, and streamline the regulatory process” notes the bill, whereas investment in workforce development and training will work towards “removing barriers to pursuing aviation careers, improving pilot training standards, and more”.

For the first time ever, the bill also includes a General Aviation (GA) element; recognising that “the success of the United States aviation system is built upon a strong GA foundation” and that “most of all aviation professionals these days, including pilots and mechanics, get their start in GA”. Small and GA airports will also receive prioritised funding for airport infrastructure.

The new bill also updates the National Transportation Safety Board’s authorisation to investigate all civil aviation accidents, a permission it last received in 2018.

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