Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Congress passes FAA bill that speeds switch to GPS

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Monday passed a four-year, $63 billion compromise bill to renew and extend federal aviation programs through 2015, speeding the modernization of the air traffic control system toward the era of satellite navigation.

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 75-20 to pass the measure, despite objections from labor unions because it tightens requirements for forming new unions. The House approved the measure Friday on a 248-169 vote. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law.

The Federal Aviation Administration's authorization expired in 2007. Since then, the agency has limped along on 23 stopgap measures as lawmakers wrangled over the role of the federal government in aviation.

"This agreement is going to provide a lot of stability to the FAA," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the Democratic chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. "They will be happy about that."

The bill provides about $16 billion a year for airport construction and expansion and for an increase in the use of pilotless drones in domestic airspace, among other items.

It will also speed the agency's transition to Global Positioning System satellite navigation technology, called NextGen, that is meant to allow pilots to know exactly where other planes and obstacles are, facilitating more frequent landings and takeoffs, and fewer delays and diversions.

Comments

Syria Kurdish party appeals to world against Turkish threats

Syria's dominant Kurdish party appeals on world to help as Turkey threatens military attack on Syrian Kurdish enclave
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Apple supplier denies charges of unsafe, unclean conditions

Apple supplier denies charges of unsafe, unclean conditions

Apple supplier in eastern China denies labor group allegations that workers toil for ten-hour shifts in loud, unsafe, polluted conditions
Updated: 7 minutes ago

EU keeps up offer to keep Britain in despite vote to leave

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker is keeping up the offer for Britain to remain in the EU even after both sides have entered the second phase of their divorce negotiations
Updated: 14 minutes ago

Saudi Arabia to transfer $2 billion after urgent Yemen plea

Saudi Arabia to transfer $2 billion to Yemen following appeal to save the local currency from 'complete collapse'
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Pope heads to Chile indigenous area after churches burned

Pope heads to Chile indigenous area after churches burned

Pope Francis goes to Chile's Araucania region Wednesday, where several churches have been firebombed amid a long-running conflict between indigenous Mapuche and government authorities
Updated: 16 minutes ago

AP Top News at 4:17 a.m. EST

AP Top News at 4:17 a.m. EST
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Pope heads to Chile indigenous area after churches burned

Pope heads to Chile indigenous area after churches burned

Pope Francis goes to Chile's Araucania region Wednesday, where several churches have been firebombed amid a long-running conflict between indigenous Mapuche and government authorities
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Survey finds geopolitical, cyber threats key concerns in '18

Survey finds geopolitical, cyber threats key concerns in '18

The World Economic Forum says a new survey found more than nine in 10 experts are expressing concerns about worsening economic or political confrontation between world powers in 2018
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Japanese public TV says staffer sent missile alert in error

Japanese public TV says staffer sent missile alert in error

Japanese public broadcaster NHK says an erroneous alert about a North Korean missile fired at Japan was sent by a staff member who meant to transmit a different news flash
Updated: 27 minutes ago

Saudi Arabia to transfer $2 billion to Yemen following appeal to save the local currency from 'complete collapse'

Saudi Arabia to transfer $2 billion to Yemen following appeal to save the local currency from 'complete collapse'
Updated: 28 minutes ago