FAA Privatization Bill Passes House Committee

Legislation that would privatize a portion of the FAA has been approved by the House Transportation Committee.

The House Transportation Committee has approved legislation that would make sweeping changes to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), part of which would include an independent, non-profit corporation to operate the air traffic control systems.

The 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2997) passed the Committee by a vote of 32 to 25 and now goes to the full House for consideration.

“I appreciate all the work done today by the Members of the Committee on this legislation that puts the American taxpayers, innovation, jobs, and the traveling public before Washington dysfunction,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA). “We thoroughly debated the legislation, considered approximately 80 amendments, approved substantial improvements offered by Members from both sides of the aisle, and voted to move forward to give Americans the safe, efficient, modern aviation system they deserve.”

The bill would establish the American Air Navigation Services Corporation, a non-profit corporation governed by a board including the transportation secretary, individuals nominated by airlines, and union representatives.

In a statement from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the new privatized system was described as follows:

The bill separates the ATC service operator from the regulating agency (FAA), freeing it from the government’s inherent bureaucratic inertia, Washington politics, and funding uncertainty. The service provider will run like a business, something the FAA has been unable to do despite numerous reforms by Congress, and will have the freedom to innovate and create efficiencies in ways that are impossible within a federal bureaucracy.

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