A new stopgap Federal Aviation Administration extension--the 13th since September 2007--has been signed into law.

The measure, which President Obama signed on April 30, will keep federal airport construction grants flowing and other FAA programs operating through July 3.

The previous short-term extension was scheduled to expire at the end of the day on April 30.

Final congressional action on the latest extension came on April 28 when the House, and then the Senate, cleared the measure.

The long series of stopgaps has been necessary because Congress has been unable to agree on a new, long-term FAA bill.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) said, "We have had to extend this authorization several times, and let's hope that this is the last."

Oberstar said that the House and Senate "are making progress on a new [long-term] authorization bill, but we are not there yet. This extension will give us time to complete the task."

The House approved a three-year, $53.5-billion  FAA bill in May 2009 and the Senate passed a two-year, $35-billion aviation measure on March 22.  Negotiators from each chamber must reconcile differences between the two bills.

One of the differences deals with passenger facility charges (PFCs), which help fund airport construction. The House bill would raise the PFC limit to $7, from $4.50 now. The Senate version would remove the PFC cap altogether for six to-be-chosen airports, but otherwise keep the limit at $4.50.

The Senate and House bills do agree on authorization levels for FAA's Airport Improvement Program construction grants, providing $4 billion in 2010 and $4.1 billion in 2011.