Alexander: FAA Extension “Makes it Easier and Safer to Travel,” Supports 172,000 Tennessee Jobs

Posted on July 13, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 2016 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement after voting to extend funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through September 2017.

“I voted for this bill because it makes it easier and safer for Americans to travel, provides the appropriate tools and additional resources to protect Americans against terrorism, and supports more than 172,000 Tennessee jobs.” Alexander said. “The bill also requires the FAA to give preference to graduates of Middle Tennessee State University’s Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative when graduates apply for FAA air traffic controller jobs.”

The FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act is a nearly 14-month extension of federal aviation programs through September 30, 2017. The bipartisan bill helps make airports safer by updating hiring standards for workers with access to secure airport areas and strengthening security at foreign airports. The bill also makes it easier to travel by expanding the TSA PreCheck program and requiring the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to reduce passenger wait times.

The bill also simplifies medical checks for recreational pilots, strengthens mental health screening for pilots, and requires the FAA to give preference to graduates of Middle Tennessee State University’s (MTSU) Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative for FAA air traffic controller jobs.

On July 11, the House of Representatives passed the FAA extension by voice vote. Today, the Senate passed the legislation by a vote of 89 to 4. The legislation will now be sent to the president and signed into law.

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