As the second session of the 114th Congress begins, House lawmakers are slated to consider a sweeping Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that would fundamentally change the way our nation’s air traffic control system is operated.
America’s airspace is the safest in the world, but it is far from efficient. Costly air traffic-related delays are on the rise and commercial flight times are just as long as they were in the 1970s. Although the FAA has been working to transition our radar-based system to a more efficient satellite-based one, federal regulators are far behind schedule. An update to our air traffic laws is long overdue and necessary in order for these modernization efforts to move forward.
But the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is expected to propose legislation that would contain a really troubling surprise for the general aviation industry: It would establish a non-profit entity to oversee our nation’s air navigation system, funded by a new user fee that would disproportionately hurt general aviation.
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