Senate Commerce Committee advances Baldwin priorities to strengthen aviation workforce and improve safety
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) voted to advance the bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act out of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The bill included several Senator Baldwin-authored provisions to expand access to flight education to train more commercial pilots, invest in aviation workforce training for veterans, and improve safety for all Americans when they fly, including those with disabilities.
“The aviation industry faces enormous challenges – short staffing, close calls on runways, and outdated infrastructure – that have impacted travelers and too often compromised the safety of Wisconsinites. Now is the time to invest in this critical workforce, expand opportunities for Americans who want to pursue careers in aviation, and double down on our commitment to keep Americans safe when they fly,” said Senator Baldwin. “I was proud to champion provisions in this bill that will help people land in-demand jobs in aviation, support our veterans to become commercial pilots, and keep all travelers safe, and look forward to getting this bill signed into law.”
Included in the FAA Reauthorization legislation were several of Senator Baldwin’s legislative priorities to improve safety and grow the aviation workforce that Wisconsin travelers rely on.
Strengthening the Workforce of Highly-Qualified Pilots
The FAA legislation includes Senator Baldwin’s bipartisan Flight Education Access Act to strengthen the workforce of highly qualified pilots in the aviation workforce by providing additional financial support for prospective aviation students. The bill would increase maximum limits on low-interest federal student loans for students pursuing a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree in flight education and training programs.
Senator Baldwin’s American Aviator Act also advanced today, bipartisan legislation to increase opportunities and expand flight-training services for veterans to become commercial airline pilots. The bill would authorize grant funding through the FAA to support training opportunities for veterans who are not already military pilots.
Improving Safety, Protecting Americans
The legislation that advanced included provisions from Senator Baldwin’s Air Carrier Access Amendments Act, including a requirement for the Department of Transportation to improve standards to ensure that the aircraft boarding and deplaning process is accessible for individuals with disabilities. The FAA Reauthorization also strengthens reporting requirements for the Department of Transportation following complaints against airlines for violating rules to protect Americans with disabilities. Finally, key provisions from Senator Baldwin’s EVAC Act also advanced, legislation to ensure the FAA does more to prioritize passenger safety by appropriately considering carry-on baggage, people with disabilities, seniors, and children in its emergency evacuation standards.
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 now heads to the full Senate for a vote.