Congress passes aviation bill to close airport security gaps

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Congress has passed an aviation bill that attempts to close gaps in airport security and shorten screening lines, but leaves thornier issues unresolved.

The bill also extends the Federal Aviation Administration's programs for 14 months at current funding levels. The Senate approved the measure Wednesday by a vote of 89 to 4.

The House had passed the measure Monday, so it now goes to President Barack Obama, who must sign the bill by Friday when the FAA's current operating authority expires to avoid a partial shutdown of the agency.

The bill includes provisions to protect "soft targets" outside airport security perimeters in response to attacks by violent extremists on airports in Brussels and Istanbul.

Other provisions would toughen the vetting of people with access to the secure areas of airports.