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house Bill H.R. 636

Reauthorizing the FAA for Two-Years and Developing Drone Regulations

Argument in favor

The FAA plays too important a role in assuring the safety of air travel in the U.S. to be in a precarious funding situation. Authorizing its funding for two years while starting the process of creating regulations for drones are necessary actions.

Connor's Opinion
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04/16/2016
Look, stupid people are already flying drones in no fly zones around our airports. They need to be regulated for the safety of our pilots and their passengers. Just like lasers, you can't just play with them near airports.
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Jstone's Opinion
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04/17/2016
Drone airspace should be regulated to assure an organized highway like system so the sky doesn't become a plastic swarm. After regulation we can adjust programming for AI to follow said regulation so the sooner the better.
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tmobley88's Opinion
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02/14/2015
Small business's spending more money only creates more jobs and more job's means less without a job
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Argument opposed

A two-year reauthorization is unnecessary, as the new Congress that begins its term next year can handle the process for fiscal year 2017. It’s too early to begin developing regulations for commercial drone use.

Jake's Opinion
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04/21/2016
I say fund the FAA, but like others have said, drone regulations are too soon. Just like the Feds / Obama wanting to regulate the Internet and now giving the DNS to some foreign country to manage. This will only hurt Americans again and stifle growth in new industries (drones).
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Paul's Opinion
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04/20/2016
Too soon to pass drone regulations like this. It could cripple many businesses in a young, rapidly growing industry.
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Rod's Opinion
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05/20/2015
Tax law is a mess...everyone knows....piling on more nonsense is insane. Implement a flat tax.
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bill Progress


  • EnactedJuly 15th, 2016
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed April 19th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 95 Yea / 3 Nay
  • The house Passed February 13th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 272 Yea / 142 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Budget
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedFebruary 2nd, 2015

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What is House Bill H.R. 636?

Update April 5, 2016: This bill was co-opted through the Senate's amendment process to serve as the legislative vehicle for a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Originally, it was known as the "America's Small Business Tax Relief Act" and extended property expensing tax deductions for small and medium-sized businesses and was passed by the House in February 2015.

This bill would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, make reforms affecting air travelers and safety programs, and lay out regulations for drone aircraft. The FAA is funded through July 15, 2016 following the passage of a short-term reauthorization in March 2016.

The FAA would receive a total of $16.1 billion in fiscal year 2016 and $16.6 billion in fiscal year 2017 to collectively fund its airport planning program, acquisitions of air navigation facilities and equipment, and general operations. The formula that allows the FAA to spend more than 90 percent of air travel-related tax revenues from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund would be also be extended. The Essential Air Service program that facilitates air service at small airports would be funded at a level of $155 million annually for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

Both the FAA and the National Institute of Science and Technology would collaborate in developing safety standards for the design and operation of drones. Operators of commercial drone aircraft would be required to publish a privacy policy and operate the drones in a manner that protects personal privacy in accordance with federal, state, and local law. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be responsible for enforcing violations of privacy policy violations by commercial operators.

The Dept. of Transportation (DOT) would be required to review the causes of flight delays and cancellations and report to Congress regarding the review’s outcome and any recommendations. It would also consider whether it is an unfair or deceptive practice to change a traveler’s itinerary over 24 hours in advance if the new itinerary requires additional stops or departs three hours earlier or later without offering compensation or alternative air travel.

A number of other consumer-focused reforms would be implemented if this bill becomes law, including:

  • A required study of airport accessibility best practices for people with disabilities, limited mobility, or visual or hearing impairments beyond those recommended in prior legislation;

  • New regulations requiring baggage fee refunds if an air carrier fails to deliver a passenger’s checked baggage within a specified timeframe;

  • Standardized disclosures of fees for baggage, cancellation, seat selection, or ticketing that are prominently displayed prior to purchase in an easily readable font size;

  • Notices to families with children about the availability of seats together at the time of booking;

  • Reviews of how airlines provide information about decisions to delay or cancel flights that may be fully or partially due to weather-related causes.

The implementation of the FAA’s NextGen program to improve the efficiency of air travel would be the subject of numerous reports assessing the its development and performance. The NextGen program seeks to decrease maintenance costs and carbon emissions while saving air travelers time and increasing the number of flights available.

Impact

Air travelers; airlines; commercial drone operators; the DOT; the FTC; and the FAA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 636

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sen. John Thune (R-SD) introduced this legislation's predecessor in the Senate to protect airline passengers, ensure that drones are used safely, and make the U.S. aerospace industry more competitive:

“Passage of this bipartisan legislation is a win for airline passenger rights, advancing responsible drone usage, boosting the competitiveness of the aerospace, and making our skies safer.”

This legislation's predecessor was passed by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Technology Committee and has the support of three cosponsors in the Senate, including two Democrats and a Republican.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Moto@Club4AG)

AKA

FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016

Official Title

An act to amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, and for other purposes.

    Look, stupid people are already flying drones in no fly zones around our airports. They need to be regulated for the safety of our pilots and their passengers. Just like lasers, you can't just play with them near airports.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    I say fund the FAA, but like others have said, drone regulations are too soon. Just like the Feds / Obama wanting to regulate the Internet and now giving the DNS to some foreign country to manage. This will only hurt Americans again and stifle growth in new industries (drones).
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Drone airspace should be regulated to assure an organized highway like system so the sky doesn't become a plastic swarm. After regulation we can adjust programming for AI to follow said regulation so the sooner the better.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Small business's spending more money only creates more jobs and more job's means less without a job
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    The FAA has done a fine job. It deserves two more years of funding. And drones are a common sight now. Putting off regulation of them is foolish.
    Like (2)
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    Tax law is a mess...everyone knows....piling on more nonsense is insane. Implement a flat tax.
    Like (1)
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    Small businesses are being destroyed through continual government regulations and taxes. When I purchase property for my business, there should be NO AMORTISING! All business owners should be able to count expenditures for business property as business expenses in the year the money was spent. I don't purchase property and pay for it over a 20-25 year period. I shouldn't have to spread out the cost on taxes over a 20-25 year period! Give us a break!
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    Tax revenue can be more than compensated for by equitably increasing rates on the top 1% of
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    Thanks Obama
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    It needs to be fair to people and allow them to know why they are being inconvenienced by flight changes, cancellations, etc. it doesn't have to be such a miserable experience for everyone!
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    Too soon to pass drone regulations like this. It could cripple many businesses in a young, rapidly growing industry.
    Like (1)
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    Definitely.
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    Small businesses are the employment engine of our country and have been virtually ignored by the Obama team.
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    Small businesses provide the most jobs. They need to be encouraged, not punished.
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    This is step one of privatizing the air traffic control system. We have the safest airspace system in the world, and those with privatized airspace systems have some of the lowest safety marks.
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    Living near an airport, I understand these regulations and the importance of maintaining them
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    While I know that the Federal Aviation Administration needs to be reauthorized, it should not get through with handouts and special deals for certain energy producers. It's basically "green pork," that does not belong as part of a must-pass bill. Let people debate whether these tax carveouts are fair -- on their own merits. It deserves vigorous debate. Congress already did a tax extenders package that extended corporate subsidies for things like wind energy. Please do oppose adding even more of this to the FAA bill -- it's bad policy, and it's bad practice.
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    FY 2016 funding bill is already late.
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    Protect passenger rights and get drones out of airspaces. This should be a bi partisan move.
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    Clearly needed, our airspace is the most crowded in the world
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