49 U.S.C. § 106 - Federal Aviation Administration
|Cite as:||49 U.S.C. § 106|
|Currency:||Current through P.L. 116-193 (10/30/2020)|
(a) The Federal Aviation Administration is an administration in the Department of Transportation.
(b) The head of the Administration is the Administrator, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. When making an appointment, the President shall consider the fitness of the individual to carry out efficiently the duties and powers of the office. Except as provided in subsection (f) or in other provisions of law, the Administrator reports directly to the Secretary of Transportation. The term of office for any individual appointed as Administrator after August 23, 1994, shall be 5 years.
(c) The Administrator must-
(1) be a citizen of the United States;
(2) be a civilian; and
(3) have experience in a field directly related to aviation.
(1) The Administration has a Deputy Administrator, who shall be appointed by the President. In making an appointment, the President shall consider the fitness of the appointee to efficiently carry out the duties and powers of the office. The Deputy Administrator shall be a citizen of the United States and have experience in a field directly related to aviation. An officer on active duty in an armed force may be appointed as Deputy Administrator. However, if the Administrator is a former regular officer of an armed force, the Deputy Administrator may not be an officer on active duty in an armed force, a retired regular officer of an armed force, or a former regular officer of an armed force.
(2) The annual rate of basic pay of the Deputy Administrator shall be set by the Secretary but shall not exceed the annual rate of basic pay payable to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.
(3) An officer on active duty or a retired officer serving as Deputy Administrator is entitled to hold a rank and grade not lower than that held when appointed as Deputy Administrator. The Deputy Administrator may elect to receive (A) the pay provided by law for the Deputy Administrator, or (B) the pay and allowances or the retired pay of the military grade held. If the Deputy Administrator elects to receive the military pay and allowances or retired pay, the Administration shall reimburse the appropriate military department from funds available for the expenses of the Administration.
(4) The appointment and service of a member of the armed forces as a Deputy Administrator does not affect the status, office, rank, or grade held by that member, or a right or benefit arising from the status, office, rank, or grade. The Secretary of a military department does not control the member when the member is carrying out duties and powers of the Deputy Administrator.
(e) The Administrator and the Deputy Administrator may not have a pecuniary interest in, or own stock in or bonds of, an aeronautical enterprise, or engage in another business, vocation, or employment.
(f) AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY AND THE ADMINISTRATOR.-
(1) AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY.-Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary of Transportation shall carry out the duties and powers, and controls the personnel and activities, of the Administration. Neither the Secretary nor the Administrator may submit decisions for the approval of, or be bound by the decisions or recommendations of, a committee, board, or organization established by executive order.
(2) AUTHORITY OF THE ADMINISTRATOR.-The Administrator-
(A) is the final authority for carrying out all functions, powers, and duties of the Administration relating to-
(i) the appointment and employment of all officers and employees of the Administration (other than Presidential and political appointees);
(ii) the acquisition and maintenance of property, services, and equipment of the Administration;
(iii) except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3), the promulgation of regulations, rules, orders, circulars, bulletins, and other official publications of the Administration; and
(iv) any obligation imposed on the Administrator, or power conferred on the Administrator, by the Air Traffic Management System Performance Improvement Act of 1996 (or any amendment made by that Act);
(B) shall offer advice and counsel to the President with respect to the appointment and qualifications of any officer or employee of the Administration to be appointed by the President or as a political appointee;
(C) may delegate, and authorize successive redelegations of, to an officer or employee of the Administration any function, power, or duty conferred upon the Administrator, unless such delegation is prohibited by law; and
(D) except as otherwise provided for in this title, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, shall not be required to coordinate, submit for approval or concurrence, or seek the advice or views of the Secretary or any other officer or employee of the Department of Transportation on any matter with respect to which the Administrator is the final authority.
(A) IN GENERAL.-In the performance of the functions of the Administrator and the Administration, the Administrator is authorized to issue, rescind, and revise such regulations as are necessary to carry out those functions. The issuance of such regulations shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 5 of title 5. The Administrator shall act upon all petitions for rulemaking no later than 6 months after the date such petitions are filed by dismissing such petitions, by informing the petitioner of an intention to dismiss, or by issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking or advanced notice of proposed rulemaking. The Administrator shall issue a final regulation, or take other final action, not later than 16 months after the last day of the public comment period for the regulations or, in the case of an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, if issued, not later than 24 months after the date of publication in the Federal Register of notice of the proposed rulemaking. On February 1 and August 1 of each year the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a letter listing each deadline the Administrator missed under this subparagraph during the 6-month period ending on such date, including an explanation for missing the deadline and a projected date on which the action that was subject to the deadline will be taken.
(B) APPROVAL OF SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION.-
(i) The Administrator may not issue a proposed regulation or final regulation that is likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $250,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for inflation beginning with the year following the date of the enactment of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century) in any year, or any regulation which is significant, unless the Secretary of Transportation approves the issuance of the regulation in advance. For purposes of this paragraph, a regulation is significant if the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary (as appropriate), determines that the regulation is likely to-
(I) have an annual effect on the economy of $250,000,000 or more or adversely affect in a substantial and material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; or
(II) raise novel or significant legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates that may substantially and materially affect other transportation modes.
(ii) In an emergency, the Administrator may issue a regulation described in clause (i) without prior approval by the Secretary, but any such emergency regulation is subject to ratification by the Secretary after it is issued and shall be rescinded by the Administrator within 5 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after issuance if the Secretary fails to ratify its issuance.
(iii) Any regulation that does not meet the criteria of clause (i), and any regulation or other action that is a routine or frequent action or a procedural action, may be issued by the Administrator without review or approval by the Secretary.
(iv) The Administrator shall submit a copy of any regulation requiring approval by the Secretary under clause (i) to the Secretary, who shall either approve it or return it to the Administrator with comments within 45 days after receiving it.
(C) PERIODIC REVIEW.-
(i) Beginning on the date which is 3 years after the date of the enactment of the Air Traffic Management System Performance Improvement Act of 1996, the Administrator shall review any unusually burdensome regulation issued by the Administrator after such date of enactment beginning not later than 3 years after the effective date of the regulation to determine if the cost assumptions were accurate, the benefit of the regulations, and the need to continue such regulations in force in their present form.
(ii) The Administrator may identify for review under the criteria set forth in clause (i) unusually burdensome regulations that were issued before the date of the enactment of the Air Traffic Management System Performance Improvement Act of 1996 and that have been in force for more than 3 years.
(iii) For purposes of this subparagraph, the term "unusually burdensome regulation" means any regulation that results in the annual expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $25,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for inflation beginning with the year following the date of the enactment of the Air Traffic Management System Performance Act of 1996) in any year.
(iv) The periodic review of regulations may be performed by advisory committees and the Management Advisory Council established under subsection (p).
(4) DEFINITION OF POLITICAL APPOINTEE.-For purposes of this subsection, the term "political appointee" means any individual who-
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