It appears increasingly likely that the US government will run out of funding at midnight on Saturday, Sep. 30. That date is also when the current FAA reauthorization will expire. As of ROTOR Daily’s publication time of midday on Friday, Sep. 29, there appears to be no viable path for the US Congress to provide short-term funding for the FAA or the government as a whole.

What does that mean for vertical aviation?

According to the Department of Transportation’s operational plan for the shutdown, many of the day-to-day functions of the FAA will continue, including:

  • Air traffic control services
  • Maintenance and operation of navigational aids and other facilities
  • Flight Standards Service field inspections
  • Airworthiness directives
  • Airmen medical certification
  • Issuances of waivers for uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) operations
  • Certain certification activities
  • On-call accident investigations.

FAA activities that will cease during a shutdown include aviation rulemaking and facility security inspections.

Read the plan online for a detailed accounting of how the shutdown will affect the FAA.

For several months, Congress has been engaged in working out the details of the FAA reauthorization, yet progress has hit a standstill. While the House successfully passed its version of the five-year FAA reauthorization bill (H.R.3935) in July, the Senate’s counterpart (S.1939) has stalled in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, primarily due to a dispute regarding training for airline pilots.


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