U.S. Senate unanimously passes legislation to prevent aviation system outages

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 8:44 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Legislation meant to prevent outages in aviation safety systems has unanimously passed the U.S. Senate following a nationwide outage that grounded flights from Miami to Kansas City to Seattle.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) announced on Wednesday, May 10, that the Senate unanimously passed legislation he helped introduce to prevent outages within the Federal Aviation Administration system.

Sen. Moran said the NOTAM Improvement Act will require the Administration to strengthen its resiliency and cybersecurity for the NOTAM system. This system alerts pilots of safety and location hazards along flight paths.

Moran noted that the bill follows a January NOTAM system outage that grounded flights across the nation.

“The FAA has a responsibility to make certain air travel in our country is as safe and efficient as possible,” Moran said. “I am pleased by the swift passage of this legislation and urge my colleagues to quickly pass this in the House. The complete failure of the FAA’s NOTAM system stranded millions of Americans and was a warning of the need to strengthen and modernize our air travel system. This bill is an important first step to accomplish those goals.”

The Senator indicated that the task force created by the legislation will be made up of representatives from air carriers, airports and airline pilots, dispatchers and FAA personnel unions as well s aviation safety and cybersecurity experts.

In January, Moran said he and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) spoke with Acting Administrator Billy Nolen after the system failure to discuss efforts to identify the cause of the outage which grounded flights across the nation. They also discussed how to prevent similar breakdowns in the future.

The legislation now heads to the House for consideration.

To read the full text of the legislation, click HERE.