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SWAPA Welcomes Bipartisan Agreement on Five-Year FAA Authorization Bill

SWAPA Welcomes Bipartisan Agreement on Five-Year FAA Authorization Bill

April 30, 2024

(DALLAS) — The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) welcomes the bipartisan agreement on a five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization bill.

The bipartisan legislation contains a host of SWAPA-supported provisions that reflect the professional airline pilot community’s priorities with regards to maintaining the highest level of safety on our flight decks and in our cabins, aeromedical reform, and innovation along with workforce development.

“SWAPA applauds Senators Cantwell, Cruz, Duckworth, and Moran along with Representatives Sam Graves, Garret Graves, Larsen, and Cohen and members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for reaching an agreement on a strong bill that enhances safety, improves the FAA’s aeromedical processes, and addresses mental health initiatives,” SWAPA President and Captain Casey Murray said. “We urge Congress to act with urgency on the bill, so we can move forward on the priorities and programs identified in the legislation.”

The final language includes provisions that would:

  • Maintain current First Officer Qualifications.
  • Maintain the current retirement age for commercial airline pilots.
  • Establish an Airman Medical Bill of Rights.
  • Improve FAA aeromedical policies and procedures related to pilot mental health and other matters.
  • Enhance FAA oversight of overseas aircraft maintenance facilities.
  • Strengthen air traffic controller workforce staffing.
  • Direct the FAA to create a cabin air reporting system and air quality study.
  • Direct the FAA to implement a plan to strengthen international engagement on safety.

The House passed its FAA reauthorization bill (H.R.3935) on July 20, 2023.

About SWAPA Located in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 11,000 pilots of Southwest Airlines. SWAPA works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights, and actively promoting professionalism and safety. For more information on the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, visit www.swapa.org.