Senate passes bill that would boost airport security

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved a bipartisan aviation bill that would boost airport security, extend new protections to airline passengers and help speed the introduction of package-delivery drones.

The vote Tuesday was 95-3.

It also would extend the Federal Aviation Administration's programs and powers through Oct. 1, 2017. That authority is due to expire July 15.

The House, which has become bogged down in a dispute over whether to privatize air traffic control operations, must still act.

Security provisions in the bill would permit a doubling of the number of government "viper teams" that stop and search suspicious passengers in airport public areas outside the security perimeter, often using bomb-sniffing dogs.

Airlines would also have to refund checked-bag fees to passengers when the bags are lost or delivered late.