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Federal Aviation Administration

New air traffic bill proposal: Flawed but fixable

New air traffic bill proposal: Flawed but fixable

The "Aviation, Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act," proposed by Rep. Bill Schuster (R-Pa.) would move operation of the national Air Traffic Control (ATC) system from the FAA to a new independent public agency and move ATC financing from the annual federal budget to user fees. Proponents of these moves cite two main reasons:

-- ATC funding through the annual federal budget results in periodic funding crises and uncertainty. ATC can become a prisoner of Washington's political gridlock, especially in the difficulty of raising airline taxes, even if only a little, regardless of revenue needs. ATC needs a stable, predictable source of funding that would allow it to...