RELEASE:

Wicker: FAA Reform Bill Clears Senate

Passenger-Friendly Legislation Includes New Robust Consumer Protections

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today voted in favor of a bipartisan initiative to reauthorize and reform the mission of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The legislation, H.R. 636, was approved in March by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, on which Wicker serves as a senior member. The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 95-3.

“This FAA bill will make air travel safer by improving airport security and strengthening cybersecurity,” Wicker said. “Many of these passenger-friendly reforms are long overdue. Mississippi would see advancements to our aerospace industry under new standards for unmanned aircraft systems by FAA and the UAS Center of Excellence at Mississippi State University. I am hopeful that the Senate’s action will soon be replicated in the House before the short-term extension expires in July.”

Provisions to strengthen airport security include improving airport employee vetting, expanding enrollment in the TSA PreCheck program to minimize security lines, and enhancing security for international flights bound for the United States. The legislation also addresses growing cybersecurity threats facing aviation and air navigation systems.

Wicker successfully included a measure to create a process that would allow electric utilities to use unmanned aircraft systems in emergency response situations. Rapid restoration of utility services aids in emergency recovery efforts and mitigates the severity of harm suffered during a crisis.

Another proposal supported by Wicker would require the FAA to issue a new rule to ensure that aircraft medical kits include medications and equipment to meet the emergency medical needs of children.

4/19/16