U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, recently released a statement on legislation to reform the Air Traffic Control (ATC) agency.
The Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act of 2016 aims to upgrade and modernize the U.S. aviation-management system.
“As I said, we have to do better,” Shuster said. “Delays, congestion and inefficiency cost our economy $30 billion a year. One billion passengers a year will be flying in another decade or so. Without real improvement, the system is only going to get worse.”
The bill would upgrade the nation's air traffic control system, in an effort to improve its safety and efficiency so that the U.S. can be a world leader in the aviation industry.
The bill removes the ATC from the federal government's jurisdiction, creating a federally chartered, independent, not-for-profit corporation. It would come under the leadership of a board voted on by users of the system.
“Unfortunately, FAA has proven it can’t modernize the air traffic system,” Shuster said. “Delays, cost overruns and setbacks have been going on for over 30 years. Another recent report from the inspector general highlighted more problems with NextGen.”
Shuster said the bill is necessary to improve the aviation industry.
“Taken as a whole, the AIRR Act does what’s best for all users of the system, and the future of U.S. aviation,” Shuster said. “I want our country to have the safest aviation system in the world, as well as the most efficient, cost-effective and advanced system. We don’t have that today, but I believe we will under this bill.”