Congress passes 4-month extension of FAA powers, programs

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has passed a bill temporarily extending the Federal Aviation Administration's powers and programs through mid-July.

The Senate approved the bill Thursday by a voice vote. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. The FAA's current operating authority expires March 31.

The extension is aimed at giving lawmakers more time to work on a longer-term aviation policy bill.

The House transportation committee passed a six-year FAA bill in February that would wrest responsibility for running the nation's air traffic control system from the government and turn it over to a private, nonprofit corporation run by airlines and other aviation interests. GOP leaders sidelined the bill after objections from some committee chairmen.

The Senate Commerce committee passed its own long-term bill without a privatization plan this week.