House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee advances aviation safety, capital investment and disaster recovery legislation

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Several bills advanced by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure this week included major attempts to revamp aircraft maintenance and the aerospace supply chain, among other measures.

Passing the scrutiny of committee markup were the Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act (H.R. 7321) and the American Aerospace Supply Chain Resiliency, Innovation and Advancement Act (H.R. 8049).

The former was introduced by the committee’s chair, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), with 13 bipartisan cosponsors, in an attempt to update Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) application of safety rules for foreign repair stations. Annual unannounced inspections, mandating mechanical issue reporting and requiring certain personnel to hold FAA mechanic or repairman certificates would all be required under the new bill.

“I’m particularly pleased my bill, the Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act, now known as the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act, was passed to close the gap between our safety standards and those of foreign repair stations,” DeFazio said. “We are one step closer to ensuring a uniform standard of safety, no matter where the aircraft is repaired and maintained. I look forward to the House approving these bills without delay.”

Approaching aviation from another standpoint, H.R. 8049 – introduced by U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), Aviation Subcommittee ranking member – would create a 21-member aerospace supply chain resiliency task force and empower it to identify and assess risks to the U.S. aerospace supply chain. In the process, it would also recommend ways to mitigate those risks, engaging with the aerospace industry to make it happen. It would have one year to make a report to Congress on its activities.

Other bills that made it through the committee’s docket included the Securities and Exchange Commission Real Estate Leasing Authority Revocation Act (H.R. 1468), to update a review of federal entities with independent leasing authority; the Planning for Animal Wellness (PAW) Act (H.R. 7789) to guarantee the needs of animals in disaster preparedness; and the Expediting Disaster Recovery Act (H.R. 5774), to hasten delivery of federal disaster assistance.

Further, the committee considered eight resolutions that would authorize the General Services Administration’s Capital Investment and Leasing Program to undertake repairs and modifications nationwide.