The US House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Aviation Subcommittee last week filed HR 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the FAA and aviation safety and infrastructure programs for the next five years.

Text of the bill can be found here. 

This is the first step for the legislation to become public law. The committee’s mark-up on the bill is scheduled to begin Tuesday, 13 June. HR 3935 will then advance to the wider House and US Senate for deliberations and action through the next several months, before ideally becoming public law October 1 – the beginning of the US government’s fiscal year 2024.

The bipartisan legislation contains training and safety language of relevance to the entire US commercial aviation industry. Representative areas of safety and training importance from the bill:


Throughout this Spring’s congressional testimony season, it was clear the FAA needs to be better positioned to implement the latest cutting-edge technologies from the commercial sector across its portfolio. To provide more than a “gentle nudge” to move the organization in that direction, the bill’s Section 126 details the requirement to establish an Office of Innovation.   

Safe AAM Operations

During the recent round of Capitol Hill hearings on the administration’s FY24 budget request, Senate and House committees with commercial aviation oversight focused on OEMs’ quickening pace to introduce eVTOLs and other next-generation aircraft into the national airspace. To address this transformation, one representative action is contained in Section 265, Low Altitude Rotorcraft and Powered-Lift Operations. In general, this section directs the FAA Administrator, not later than 3 years after the enactment of this Act, to establish or update low-altitude routes and flight procedures to ensure safe rotorcraft and powered-lift aircraft operations within Class B airspace of the national airspace system.

More Attention to Safety

Capitol Hill appears to have the increasing number of near-misses and other potential mishaps at US airports in its oversight cross-hairs. To that end, the bill’s Section 501, Zero Tolerance for Near Misses, Runway Incursions and Surface Safety Risks, provides a detailed roadmap for community stakeholders to help reduce the scourge of these safety incidents. 

Strengthening the Workforce

The US Congress remains attentive and is taking action to bolster the US aerospace industry well beyond this decade. HR 3935 presents different strategies to recruit and retain individuals into the US aviation industry. In one instance, Section 311 directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish an interagency working group to better promote the career transition of aviation professionals between the military and civilian workforces.  

More Sim Hours to Achieve 1,500

The innocuous title of Section 546, Advanced Simulation Training, could have significant outcomes for aspiring pilots. Spoiler alert: the US requirement to achieve 1,500 hours of training remains intact with this legislation. However, the bill would allow for 250 hours – up from the current 100 hours – to occur in simulators rather than flying a plane. Of note, this bill reads in part, the total aeronautical experience requirement would take place “in a full-flight simulator representing an airplane that provides six-degrees of freedom motion… occurring in an FAA-approved training course.”