FAA Reauthorization Bill Includes Family Seating Rules, Extends Voucher Life


Reuters reports the new regulations are part of the five year, $105 billion FAA reauthorization bill, which could be approved by the U.S. Senate before the week ending May 3, 2024.


New Regulations Designed to Help U.S. Aviation Maintain “Gold Standard”

The bill comes after both chambers of the U.S. Congress passed a temporary measure to keep the FAA working through May 10, 2024. The latest bipartisan bill weighs in at over 1,000 pages and would keep the agency funded through 2029.


The new bill would force airlines to allow families to sit together on an aircraft without paying for seats in advance. Airlines would also be forced to extend the life of any vouchers or credits from the customary 12 months to five years. On the other side, the bill would also end a U.S. Department of Transportation rule that requires airlines to advertise ticket prices that include airfare, taxes, and mandatory fees.


While the new bill would mandate a minimum seat size for airlines, it will direct the Transportation Department to add a seat size dashboard to their website. Any minimum seat size rules will still be at the discretion of the FAA.


Safety measures will also be taken up in the reauthorization legislation. Airlines would be required to have a 25-hour cockpit recording device, while airports would also need to install enhanced surface technology with the goal of avoiding ground collisions. Despite some debate, the law will also keep the pilot retirement age at 65, instead of moving it to 67.


Finally, those caught behaving poorly on airplanes could pay more for their transgressions. If passed, the bill would increase the maximum civil penalty from $25,000 per violation to $75,000. In a joint statement, the top aviation lawmakers said: “The FAA needs strong and decisive direction from Congress to ensure America’s aviation system maintains its gold standard.”

Source: frugal travel guy

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