This article was written by Jorge Castellanos and published on A21 on October 5, 2018. Read the original article here.


With a five-year financing scheme − the most extensive since the 1980s − as well as provisions related to passengers protection, air regulation and safe operation of drones, the president of the United States Donald Trump signed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018.

Approved by the U.S. Congress after a process spanning over four years, this bill puts the final dot to debate on air traffic control (ATC) privatization. Until 2023 it remains remain "under the wing" of the FAA.

Both sides of the political spectrum [Democrats and Republicans – AeroTime not.] rejected the proposal of air traffic control privatization and chose to grant financial stability to the aeronautical authority body.

The certainty was applauded by different international and local aviation organizations, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) or Airlines for America (A4A) − industry trade organization that incorporates the U.S. legacy carriers.

Passenger protection

The act also includes establishment of an Ombudsman's Office, which will depend on the U.S. Department of Transportation and monitor airlines service quality.

Likewise, the act establishes provisions related to aircraft seats (such as the minimum space between backups), the involuntary cession of seats (so that the boarding is not denied once the passenger is onboard an airplane), compensations, and the information in case of cancellations or delays.

Finally, regarding the operation of unmanned aircraft, the approved initiative establishes new conditions of drones use for recreational purposes, although the implementation process will depend on the issuance of new rules by the FAA.