Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4, the "Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 and the Disaster Recovery Reform Act," to reauthorize the programs of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), continue investment in airports across the country, improve competitiveness for local manufacturers, and strengthen passenger protections. The measure extends to 2023, and contains reforms long sought after by many in the local community, including the state's third busiest airport at Briscoe Field in Lawrenceville. U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall led debate on the legislation earlier this week, and voted in favor of the bill as it passed the House today.
"These kinds of bipartisan, good-government bills that offer the long-term certainty, investments, and regulatory reforms found in H.R. 4 don't just happen; they're the result of a tremendous amount of work and partnership across political aisles, and with input from so many folks back home," said Woodall. "We all need a safe and efficient Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and Briscoe Field. We all want our local manufacturers and companies to be able to do what they do best without redundant, overly cumbersome red tape. And we all want to be sure we're appropriately regulating new technologies like UAS (unmanned aircraft systems). I'm proud to say we accomplished these things -- and more -- with the bill we passed today."
"As the third busiest airport in Georgia, we appreciate Rep. Woodall's leadership on securing the first long-term FAA reauthorization in years, and for his recognition of the valuable role that Briscoe Field plays in our state's aviation community," said a spokesman for the Gwinnett County Airport.
The Seventh District is also home to multiple manufacturers, technology companies, and utility providers who have all felt the weight of excessive and vague regulation in everything from product certification to unmanned aviation over the years, and consequently, they've seen growth, development, and innovation within their business held back. The reforms found in the FAA Reauthorization Act focus on improving and expediting that process for manufacturers moving products to market, and solidifying a safe and business-friendly regulatory environment for unmanned aviation.
"The long-term certainty and crucial reforms delivered in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 are vitally important to the general aviation manufacturing industry and the economy as a whole," added Sarah McCann, spokesperson for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), of which several companies in Gwinnett and Forsyth counties are members. "Removing red tape that delays or prevents manufacturers from getting their products to market benefits Seventh District citizens and businesses, as well as the customers they serve. We're grateful for Representative Woodall's leadership on this issue, and are excited about what it means for manufacturers in Georgia's Seventh District and beyond."
Specifically, the reforms target eliminating redundancies in the FAA's certification process such that manufacturers have a quicker, streamlined path for their products. The measure also requires the FAA to establish risk-based permitting procedures for UAS operations, so as to ensure the safety of the general public, but also allow for appropriate use by utility providers across the state.
Congressman Woodall represents the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia , which includes significant portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, and currently serves as Chairman of the Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process, as well as serving on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and Budget Committee.