Luján Statement on Passage of FAA Reauthorization Bill

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement on the passage of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2024 to ensure safe and reliable air travel:

“After months of bipartisan negotiations, I voted in favor of the FAA Reauthorization to make air travel safer, more accessible, and more affordable for all Americans. Together with my colleagues on the Senate Commerce Committee, we worked to strengthen the aviation workforce, keep workers safe, and invest in communities where it’s needed most. Specifically for New Mexico, this bill invests in our airports, supports cutting-edge research, and protects our cherished tradition of hot air ballooning.        

“While I am disappointed that my bipartisan amendment to strengthen the Affordable Connectivity Program was not considered, our push made it clear that there is strong bipartisan support to keep the ACP alive for more than 55 million Americans. Congress must take action to save this program, and I’ll continue working with my colleagues on both sides to earn additional support.”  

The following Luján priorities were included:

  • Increase funding for and reauthorize the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an independent investigative agency that has led investigations into impaired driving prevention, the East Palestine Train Derailment, and the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 incidents;
  • Make key improvements to Air Traffic Control staffing to keep our airspace safe;
  • Require the FAA to consider the unique capabilities of hot air balloons in future regulations;
  • Improve safety for airport ground crews;
  • Address pilot mental health by creating a working group of pilots and medical professionals to improve policies at the FAA;
  • Study the prevalence of extreme temperatures on airplanes, which put passengers and crew at risk;
  • Ensure the FAA’s Educational Partnership Initiative & Minority Serving Institutions Internship Program continue to provide new opportunities to students who have previously been left out of the aviation field; and
  • Encourage research & development of next generation radio altimeters for planes, including a grant program to spur development & installation, to ensure the government is prepared for 6G wireless, and prevent future conflicts over federal spectrum allocation. 

Highlights of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023:

  • Improve aviation workforce programs to build the aviation talent pipeline;
  • Modernize & increase funding for the FAA’s major airport programs, including the Airport Improvement Program (AIP);
  • Update protections for passengers with disabilities;
  • Update the FAA’s structure & rulemaking on new, innovative technologies, including unmanned aircraft systems (drones);
  • Protect consumers including establishing an office of aviation consumer protection & increasing transparency on airline passenger rights.



Filter & Sort Results

Date Range
Date Range
Sort Results