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Rep. Bill Shuster’s Air Traffic Control Privatization Bill Draws FAA Modernization Concerns

Rep. Bill Shuster
Rep. Bill Shuster

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) has introduced a bill that seeks to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system amid what he calls “inefficient” modernization efforts by the Federal Aviation Administration, USA Today reported Wednesday.

Bart Jansen writes that Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said the proposed Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act would protect the air traffic control system from potential budget uncertainty.

“[The problems] will only get worse as passenger levels grow and as the FAA falls further behind in modernizing the system,” the lawmaker said, according to the report.AirportRunway

Jansen reports that supporters believe the bill aims to help accelerate the upgrade of air traffic control equipment and changes in flight path, while some lawmakers and groups have expressed concerns over oversight, accountability and costs.

The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists said Wednesday it opposes the proposed privatization due to its potential impact on FAA’s ongoing modernization program.

“It is paramount to ensure that the FAA has a consistent and adequate funding stream,” PASS said in the joint statement with the American Federation of Government Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

“However, this does not require changing the entire structure and turning it over to a private corporation to make funding and governing decisions,” they said.

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