$107 Billion Bipartisan Aviation Policy Bill Introduced By Senate Leaders
Leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee have proposed a $107 billion five-year Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill.
The meeting included Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell, (D-Washington) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and aviation subcommittee leaders Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas).
The bipartisan policy is the product of numerous efforts to regulate safety and prohibit airlines from taking advantage of customers. It would make history as the first aviation bill to focus on specific consumer problems and benefits.
“The bill sets the first-ever clear ticket refund standards for delayed flights and will penalize airlines that sell tickets on flights that they don’t have the staff or technology to operate,” said Cantwell.
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The bill would require the Transportation Department website to feature a permanent dashboard that allows consumers to compare flight costs and information about other airlines. It would also require refund request buttons at the top of airlines’ websites.
Airlines would have to display “Know Your Rights” posters throughout their terminals that would offer information about passenger rights, safety and compensation options. The bill would ban family seating fees, eliminating a fear that often deters parents from traveling with their small children.
Runway safety is at the forefront of the bill, as it would “deploy the latest airport surface detection equipment and technologies.” It would mandate tracking systems on planes flying in high-altitude weather and increase oversight of helicopters and flight data.
President Joe Biden’s administration had pushed for the bill to set a minimum seat size for airline seats and adopt other consumer protections. However, the proposal does not address these issues.
Airlines for America, which represents American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines, is in favor of the new bill and claimed that it would “provide long-term certainty for the U.S. aviation industry.”
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