House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) introduced legislation Wednesday that would
establish a nonprofit corporation charged with operating U.S. air traffic
The proposal, part of a comprehensive six-year FAA
reauthorization bill, has been anticipated for months and would strip the FAA
of its current role as the operator of the ATC network.
The nonprofit would be charged with speeding the U.S.’s
transition from radar-based technology to the GPS-based NextGen system. A board
comprised of airline industry stakeholders and users of the nation’s aviation
system would oversee the corporation.
Shuster said the reauthorization bill
removes more than 30,000 people from the government payroll.
Even before its formal release Wednesday, the proposal
had drawn plenty of debate. It has the support of three former secretaries of
transportation as well as the trade group Airlines for America. But it has
garnered heated opposition from Delta Airlines, consumer advocacy groups and,
most recently, both parties’ ranking members of the House Appropriations