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 control (ATC). 

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 Committee.

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