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March 16, 2016 2:00 PM, EDT

Senate Panel Advances FAA Reform Bill Sans Trucking Provision

WASHINGTON — A trucking-related provision that had been contested in the House was not included in an aviation reform bill a Senate panel advanced March 16.

By a voice vote, the Senate Commerce Committee advanced a $33 billion aviation reauthorizing measure through fiscal 2017, as amended.

In reporting the bill to the full Senate, committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said the bill did not include provisions that would have sparked controversy during the panel’s consideration. Industry observers had expected a member of the panel to propose an amendment to the bill that would prevent states from enacting laws requiring companies to schedule meal and rest breaks for drivers or to pay drivers by the hour.

A similar provision was included in a House aviation reform bill that advanced out of committee in February.

“Passage of this bipartisan legislation is a win for airline passenger rights, advancing responsible drone usage, boosting the competitiveness of the aerospace industry and making our skies safer,” Thune said. “I look forward to considering these reforms on the Senate floor and building consensus with our colleagues in the House."

The Senate bill is expected to be taken up in April.