House transportation committee chairman says he'll propose privatizing of air traffic control

IndustriesAssociated Press

The chairman of the House transportation committee says he'll introduce a bill this month that takes control of air traffic operations away from the government and places it under the control of a non-profit corporation run by airlines and other segments of the aviation industry.

Rep. Bill Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican, says keeping air traffic operations under government control would be "the surest road to failure."

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The Federal Aviation Administration has been hampered in recent years by government-wide budget cuts. The agency has also been working for 10 years on transitioning from a radar-based air traffic control system to one based on satellite technology, but there's no completion in sight.

Air traffic controller union officials say they're keeping an open mind on the proposal.