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Senate approves five-year FAA reauthorization bill

On Wednesday, the Senate approved a five-year FAA reauthorization bill. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration bill, which will now head to President Donald Trump's desk.

The Senate voted in favor of the bill 93-6 with Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Rand Paul, R-Ky., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., voting "no."

Senators who approved the legislation said a five-year plan, which hasn't been passed since the 1980s, added stability and improved passengers' flying experience.

"In creating new protections and enhancements for the flying public, this bill creates five years of stable policy direction for the aviation community," Commerce Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., said in a statement.

According to the Washington Post, some of the changes the bill will make include: prohibiting airlines from bumping a passenger who has already been seated; requiring the FAA to set minimum seat widths and distances between rows of seats; and permitting the Transportation Department to determine if airlines are justifiably blaming delays and cancellations on weather.

The bill allocates $90 billion to federal aviation programs over the next five years, according to NPR. That amount does not include a proposed increase in the $4.50-per-ticket passenger facility charge.

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