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S. 1405 (115th): Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 22, 2017.

Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2017

This bill reauthorizes through FY2021 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and specified FAA programs.

The bill revises requirements for the airport improvement program and pilot program for passenger facility charges at nonhub airports.

Forward Looking Investment in General Aviation, Hangars, and Tarmacs Act of 2017 or the FLIGHT Act of 2017

The Department of Transportation (DOT) shall implement an expedited and coordinated environmental review process for general aviation airport construction or improvement projects.

DOT shall establish a public-private partnership program for building or improving hangars, businesses, or other facilities at:

general aviation airports, and privately owned airports for public use that do not have scheduled air service. The Government Accountability Office shall review privacy issues and concerns associated with the operation of unmanned aircraft (drones) in the national airspace system.

The FAA shall establish a process for the acceptance of risk-based, consensus safety standards for the safe integration of small drones into such system.

DOT shall issue guidance for the operation of public drones.

The FAA shall develop a plan for the deployment of technologies to detect and mitigate potential airspace safety threats posed by drones.

Drone Operator Safety Act

The bill amends the federal criminal code to make it a crime to operate a drone that knowingly or recklessly interferes with or disrupts the operation of an aircraft carrying one or more occupants in U.S. airspace.

DOT shall establish a Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee.

The FAA shall take specified actions to improve airline passenger safety.

Commercial Balloon Pilot Safety Act of 2017

The bill directs the FAA to revise federal regulations to apply medical certificate of physical fitness requirements that are applicable to pilot flight crewmembers to operators of air balloons.

Fairness for Pilots Act

The bill amends the Pilot's Bill of Rights to revise the authorization for appeal to a federal court by a substantially affected individual from a decision of the National Transportation Safety Board to uphold an adverse FAA order or final decision. The bill specifies the suspension or revocation of an airman certificate as the punitive civil action which may be appealed.

A U.S. district court shall review de novo an FAA denial, suspension, or revocation of an airman certificate.

The bill prescribes certain requirements with respect to improving passenger air service.

Transparency Improvements and Compensation to Keep Every Ticketholder Safe Act of 2017 or the TICKETS Act

The bill prescribes requirements to prohibit an air carrier from denying an air passenger from boarding a flight without the consent of the passenger cleared to board such flight unless such passenger presents a safety, security, or health risk, to oneself or others, or engages in obscene, disruptive, or unlawful behavior.

The bill reauthorizes through FY2021 the essential air service program and the small community air service development program.

NextGen Accountability Act

The bill amends the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to direct the FAA to establish annual NextGen (i.e., Next Generation Air Transportation System) performance goals for each of the national airspace system performance metrics to meet identified performance metric baselines with respect to NextGen projects.

Saracini Aviation Safety Act of 2017

The FAA shall issue an order requiring the installation of a secondary cockpit barrier on each new aircraft that is manufactured for delivery to a U.S. passenger air carrier.