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US House approves bill to upgrade airport security
[WASHINGTON] The US House of Representatives on Monday approved an aviation bill that would upgrade security at US airports in the aftermath of the Brussels and Istanbul attacks while extending funds for the Federal Aviation Administration for another 14 months.
The approval, by a simple voice vote, sends the legislation to the Senate, where lawmakers were expected to approve the measure and forward it to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature before Congress leaves for a seven-week summer break on Friday.
The measure includes provisions from an earlier Senate bill that require tougher vetting of aviation workers with access to secure airport areas, expedited security checks to move passengers more quickly from airport areas that are not secured and a larger number of police dogs for security duty in the US transportation system.
It extends the current level of federal funding for FAA programmes through September 2017.
Congress has been struggling to find agreement on a more comprehensive package to reauthorise the US aviation regulatory agency. A measure that would have provided FAA funding over six years stalled in the House earlier this year, amid disagreement over a proposal to privatise the US air traffic control system.
House Republicans say they intend to use the time between now and September 2017 to find ways to move the privatisation plan forward.