Senate passes 4-month extension of FAA powers, programs

WASHINGTON – The Senate has passed a bill temporarily extending the Federal Aviation Administration’s powers and programs through mid-July.

The bill was approved Thursday by a voice vote. The House previously passed a similar extension, but further action is required because the Senate made changes to the bill. The FAA’s current operating authority expires March 31.

The extension is aimed at giving lawmakers more time to work on a longer-term aviation policy bill.

The House transportation committee passed a six-year FAA bill in February that turn over responsibility for running the nation’s air traffic control system to a private, non-profit corporation. GOP leaders sidelined the bill after objections from some committee chairmen.

The Senate Commerce committee passed its own long-term bill without a privatization plan this week.