House Passes FAA Bill With Several Provisions Congresswoman Bustos Included

Legislation is expected to pass the Senate and be signed into law very soon

Bipartisan Bustos proposals in Federal Aviation Bill include:

-Bringing Fairness to Federal Disaster Declarations

-Identifying workforce needs in the Aviation Maintenance Industry; and

-Updating Hiring Preference Rules to Include more Veterans


WASHINGTON – Today Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, a Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Aviation Subcommittee, applauded the passage of a bipartisan, 5 year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. This legislation includes key priorities that Bustos has worked on over the last several years. After a lengthy legislative process, this bill is expected to move through the Senate very soon and be signed into law.

“I am glad that we were able to come together and reach a bipartisan agreement on a long term Federal Aviation Bill that provides our airports, airlines and manufacturers with the certainty they need to invest in our region while strengthening critical consumer protections,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “In addition, I’m proud to have worked on the bipartisan language included in this authorization that will help veterans get good-paying jobs while working to close the skills gap in the aviation industry. I am also especially pleased that this bill includes my bipartisan Disaster Declaration Improvement Act, which ensures communities like East Peoria and Pekin aren’t victimized by the way FEMA decides which communities it will assist in the wake of disasters. I hope we can continue to work across the aisle to make progress on a multitude of shared priorities.”

The Bustos provisions in the FAA bill include:

  • The Disaster Declaration Improvement Act: During the tornado recovery in Pekin and East Peoria, it became abundantly clear that small communities in high population states, such as Illinois, are disadvantaged by FEMA’s disaster declaration process. That is why Congresswoman Bustos and Congressman Rodney Davis worked across the aisle to develop a bill that will level the playing field for towns in downstate Illinois. This legislation passed in the House on its own last year, but has not moved ahead in the Senate. Bustos strongly supported including this language in the FAA bill as another means to get this long overdue legislation on the path to becoming law.
  • Building a skills pipeline to address workforce needs in the aviation maintenance industry: Bustos worked to include an amendment in the FAA package back in June of last year that would help address the skills gap by requiring a report on workforce needs in the aviation maintenance sector. This report will play an important role in supporting partnerships between community colleges and aviation maintenance companies in the communities they serve. This kind of public-private partnership has been exemplified by the partnership between AAR and Rock Valley College in Rockford where they are teaching students the skills they need to walk into a good-paying job.
  • Helping veterans transition to the workforce in the aviation industry: Our veterans have served our nation with distinction, and when they return home, we must all do our part to ensure they have the opportunity to live the American Dream. This is why Congresswoman Bustos included language in the FAA bill that updates veterans hiring preference rules to include veterans who have served in current Iraq operations as well as the Global War on Terror. Bustos’ Amendment to address this issue was included in a 2016 markup session.