House panel weighs privatizing air traffic control

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A House panel is considering legislation that would split off management of the nation’s skies from the Federal Aviation Administration and give that responsibility to an independent, nonprofit company.

The idea is to remove air traffic control from the uncertainties of the government budget process. Proponents say Washington dysfunction has hampered the FAA’s efforts to update equipment designed to make flying more efficient and safer.

The union representing about 18,000 air traffic control workers supports Republican Rep. Bill Shuster‘s bill. The union says the legislation will protect the workforce and provide predictable funds for the aviation system.

President Donald Trump supports the effort, but aviation groups that often rely on smaller airports for business travel, recreation, pilot training and crop spraying oppose it. So do some key GOP senators.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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