Sterling Wiggins
Senior Director of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Supply Chain Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


May 17, 2024


May 16, 2024


The aviation industry is working to keep customers safe en route to their destinations. One tool that helps the industry in this endeavor is the long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from Congress.

Such legislation is critical to providing the agency and the traveling public the support necessary to ensure air traffic controllers and other federal safety officials have what they need to focus on the most critical safety issues.

Thankfully, on May 15, the House joined the Senate in passing the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024, sending the bill to the president’s desk for final sign-off. President Biden signed the bill into law on May 16.

The 30,000-foot view: Flying remains the safest way to travel. America’s excellent aviation safety record is the product of decades of work by aircraft manufacturers, passenger airlines, pilots, crews, mechanics, air traffic controllers, and more — all committed to putting safety first. 

Aircraft manufacturers and suppliers continuously innovate and refine their airplane designs to improve safety, and airlines invest time, talent, and resources to prepare pilots, crews, and mechanics to keep passengers safe. Overall, the aviation industry’s culture of safety underpins the sector’s notable safety record.

Join us for the Global Aerospace Summit

The world's foremost aviation experts, including airline CEOs and policymakers, will gather at the 2024 Global Aerospace Summit on Sept. 10-11 in Washington, D.C. The event is an opportunity to learn, network, and explore, with engaging discussions, exhibits, and state-of-the-art aircraft prototypes.

The FAA’s role: The aviation industry closely partners with the FAA on aviation safety. The FAA is responsible for operating air traffic control facilities, certifying aircraft, enforcing regulations, and funding investments in national aviation infrastructure, among other things.

The final legislation provides $105 billion in funding to the Federal Aviation Administration for five years. The bill also provides the agency with key safety reforms and policy guidance to streamline the agency’s organization. Major provisions include directing the FAA to hire more air traffic controllers and safety inspectors and to increase the use of collision-avoidance technology at airports. These reforms would optimize FAA operations to modernize the operating structure, originally conceived in the 1960s.

Why it matters: Implementing these improvements provides the private sector with an FAA that is equipped to respond to the needs of today’s ever-evolving aviation environment.

Bottom line: The aviation industry remains collectively committed to safety and ensuring travelers can get to where they need to go in a safe and efficient manner. We applaud Congress for passing the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 and know its provisions to modernize aviation infrastructure, enhance workforce growth, and improve safety will be essential during the busy summer travel season.

About the authors

Sterling Wiggins

Sterling Wiggins is Senior Director of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Supply Chain Policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.