House chairman pushes privatizing air traffic control in US

FILE PHOTO - Air traffic controllers work in the tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Thursday, March 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Republican chairman of a House panel is urging lawmakers to turn the nation’s air traffic control operations over to a new non-profit corporation, saying no other infrastructure change has as much potential to improve travel for American fliers.

President Donald Trump has also called for privatizing the nation’s air traffic control operations. He wants operations placed under an “independent, non-governmental organization” to make the system more efficient while maintaining safety.

Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, says his top priority is to overhaul the Federal Aviation Administration along those lines.

But Shuster is running into opposition from the committee’s Democratic members and unions representing air traffic controllers. They fear that turning financing decisions over to a corporation would subject the system to financial hardships.


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