Update on FAA Reauthorization 

Fellow APA pilots, 

Your Government Affairs Committee is on the ground in Washington, D.C., monitoring the latest developments regarding the reauthorization of the FAA.

This morning, the Senate’s Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee voted on the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 (S. 1939), which is the Senate’s version of the FAA reauthorization bill. The House passed their version in July 2023. During today’s hearing, an amendment to the bill that would have raised the mandatory pilot retirement age to 67 was rejected on a 14-13 vote. The committee then unanimously approved a version of the bill that did not include any changes to the retirement age.

The mandatory retirement age has been a hot topic in the aviation community. APA, in concert with ALPA and SWAPA, opposes a change to the mandatory retirement age. While today’s Senate committee vote is a significant development, the debate to raise the age is still not over. Once S.1939 reaches the Senate floor for a vote, this provision could be offered again as an amendment to the bill. Additionally, the Senate bill’s differences with the House bill will need to be reconciled in what is called a “conference.” The House of Representatives has included the increase to age 67 in their version.

Although the retirement age issue has not been fully settled yet, there are many wins in S.1939 that your Government Affairs Committee has been tirelessly advocating for on your behalf. These advances have had broad bipartisan support. They include:

  • Strengthening FAA oversight of foreign repair stations working on U.S. aircraft to ensure one level of safety and support for U.S.-certified mechanics.
  • Improving a cabin air safety provision to advance rules for airlines to provide training and reporting for fume events.
  • Expanding and increasing funding for the FAA Aviation Workforce Development Grant program to support the education and recruitment of pilots.

We will continue to keep you updated on further developments as this bill reaches the Senate floor and is conferenced with the House. If you have further questions, please reach out to your Government Affairs Committee at CMTE-GAC@alliedpilots.org.