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Title: Federal Aviation Administration Act of 2012
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to adopt a conference report that appropriates funds for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for fiscal years 2012 through 2015.
- Appropriates $3.35 billion for each fiscal year from 2012 through 2015 for airport planning and development (Sec. 101).
- Appropriates $2.7 billion for each fiscal year from 2012 through 2015 for air navigation facilities and equipment (Sec. 102).
- Appropriates funds as follows for FAA operations (Sec. 103):
- $9.65 billion for fiscal year 2012;
- $9.54 billion for fiscal year 2013;
- $9.6 billion for fiscal year 2014; and
- $9.65 billion for fiscal year 2015.
- Requires the FAA to develop a comprehensive plan for integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into national airspace within 270 days of the enactment date of this bill, and requires the FAA to execute the plan by September 30, 2015 (Sec. 332).
- Requires the FAA to develop a plan to accelerate and streamline the process of certification of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) technologies to be used in the national airspace system no later than 180 days after the enactment date of this bill (Sec. 215).
- Limits subsidized essential air service to certain locations including, but not limited to, the following locations (Sec. 421):
- Locations averaging 10 or more enplanements per service day;
- Locations in Hawaii and Alaska; and
- Locations that are more than 175 driving miles from a large or medium airport hub.
- Prohibits airlines from charging an additional fee for carrying a musical instrument as a carry-on if it can be properly stowed in accordance with existing carry-on requirements and if there is space for the instrument at the time the passenger boards the aircraft (Sec. 403).
- Requires airlines to seek to provide certain items to all active members of the Armed Forces who are traveling at their own expense including, but not limited to, the following (Sec. 405):
- Reduced air fares;
- Elimination of advanced purchase requirements;
- Waivers for change of flight fees and penalties; and
- Waived or reduced baggage and excess weight fees.
- Requires commercial airlines to submit an emergency contingency plan every 3 years to the Secretary of Transportation that includes the following provisions (Sec. 415):
- Food, water, restroom facilities, a comfortable cabin temperature and access to medical treatment in the case of a tarmac delay; and
- The option for passengers to exit the plane and enter the airport terminal in the case of an “excessive” tarmac delay.
- Defines “excessive tarmac delay” as a tarmac delay that lasts for a length of time determined by the Secretary of Transportation (Sec. 415).
- Prohibits airlines from scheduling arrivals and departures in excess of the hourly maximum departure and arrival rate established by the FAA Administrator, or at a rate likely to have a significant adverse effect on the safe and efficient use of navigable airspace (Sec. 413).
- Prohibits smoking on non-scheduled interstate or intrastate passenger flights if a flight attendant is a required crew member on the aircraft (Sec. 401).
- Amends the National Mediation Board’s rule that authorizes the formation of a labor organization by requiring at least 3 organization options in any election, including the option to forgo representation by a labor organization (Sec. 1001).
More Info About this Vote
NOTE: THIS IS A SUBSTITUTE BILL, MEANING THE LANGUAGE OF THE ORIGINAL BILL HAS BEEN REPLACED. THE DEGREE TO WHICH THE SUBSTITUTE BILL TEXT DIFFERS FROM THE PREVIOUS VERSION OF THE TEXT CAN VARY GREATLY.
NOTE: THIS LEGISLATION NEEDED A THREE-FIFTHS MAJORITY VOTE TO PASS.