U.S. House approves bill to upgrade airport security

Passengers make their way in a security checkpoint at the International JFK airport in New York October 11, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives on Monday approved an aviation bill that would upgrade security at U.S. 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 U.S. transportation system. It extends the current level of federal funding for FAA programs through September 2017. Congress has been struggling to find agreement on a more comprehensive package to reauthorize the U.S. 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 privatize the U.S. air traffic control system. House Republicans say they intend to use the time between now and September 2017 to find ways to move the privatization plan forward. (Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Bill Rigby)