Senate passes FAA bill after DC-area senators drop blockade

The Senate passed a major aviation bill on Thursday, marking an end to a monthslong fight over whether to add more flights to the nation’s busiest runway.

Last month, negotiators in both chambers unveiled a compromise bill that would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration for another five years, but a provision to add 10 slots at Reagan National Airport prompted outrage from Washington, D.C.-area senators, who warned the flights would cause delays and a risk to public safety.

The four senators, from Maryland and Virginia, held up passage for days, demanding a vote to strip out the slots, but they ultimately relented with a Friday deadline approaching for the current law to expire.

The measure passed in a 88-4 vote.

The House departed for the week on Wednesday, meaning the soonest it can get through Congress and to President Joe Biden’s desk is Tuesday, but the lower chamber passed
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