New Bill Would Increase Air Travel Safety

Over the last year, there have been a few close calls for the American aviation industry. Luckily, none of the incidents that have taken place so far have led to casualties. In spite of this, lawmakers want to get ahead of the problem. Both houses with bi-partisan support have agreed on a new bill that features multiple ideas to promote air travel safety. This bill is now set to advance for a full vote.

The bill secured 105 billion in funds. Plenty of that money is set to go to adding members to the air traffic control teams of the nation’s airports. The size of the air traffic control team will still vary based on the size of the airport. According to the bill, one of the goals is to increase the number of teams across all airports.

Another part of the budget will be used to invest in new technology. Lawmakers were heavily focused on monitoring the movement of planes while on the ground. Part of this investment in new technologies could be allocated towards radar or surveillance technology that would allow the larger air traffic control team to monitor the positions of different planes at all times. This should help make taxing through the airport a safer endeavor for all planes on the runway. It could also be a good tool to improve landing and take-off times, particularly at some of the nation’s busiest airports.

The committee that negotiated the bill is also slated to stay on board to oversee the FAA for the next five years. One of the biggest concerns that came up due to the unfortunate Boeing plane accidents in 2018 and 2019 was the fact that the FAA didn’t necessarily have the budget and the manpower to truly oversee the airline industry. Therefore, its effectiveness really came into question during these trying times. As part of the bill, the Senate committee will act as an overseer of the FAA. It’s not necessarily clear whether the budget that was agreed to as part of the bill will also go to improving the FAA’s capacity to oversee major airlines.

Passengers will also benefit from the new bill. The benefits won’t only come in the form of the added safety blanket on air travel. Part of the new bill also stipulates that airlines can now no longer charge families an extra fee to sit together. This new regulation could throw a bit of a wrench in the way that airlines currently allocate seats. Most have adopted a format where passengers can pick their seats at an added cost. Now, they’ll have to ensure that tickets on the same reservation have a way to sit together without an added fee.

Airline pilots, for their part, were also monitoring this bill very closely. Part of the committee wanted to push for an advanced mandatory retirement age for pilots. The idea was to push the compulsory retirement age to 67. However, the committee was not able to come to an agreement on that point. This means that, at least for the time being, the retirement age remains at 65.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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