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FAA Funding Bill And The Labor Hurdle

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Long-term funding has finally returned to the FAA after a half-decade hiatus, and the bill will fund system upgrades, initiate a pathway for domestic drone use, and also address a key sticking point -- rules that affect pilot unions. Last summer, Congressional-level disagreements over language that would alter how airline workers could unionize and operate in part led to a temporary shut-down of non-essential operations at the FAA. For some time, it was thought that an agreement on long-term funding for the FAA would bypass labor issues, but the new bill does make changes to current union rules. For its part, ALPA criticized the bill for its inclusion of "provisions unrelated to aviation safety" but said that "the compromise was necessary to set the stage for the passage of this extremely important funding bill." Other unions were not as accepting.

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