Lawmakers propose bill to privatize air traffic control

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WASHINGTON | Legislation introduced in the House would transfer responsibility for air traffic control operations from the government to a private, nonprofit corporation.

That idea is part of an overhaul in how Washington oversees the aviation system.

FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2008, file photo an air traffic controller stands beneath a radar screen in the control tower at Washington's Reagan National Airport. House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Bud Shuster, R-Pa., is launching a push this week to take control of that system away from the government and hand it to a non-profit corporation directed by the airlines, airports, and labor unions, among others.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
FILE – In this Sept. 18, 2008, file photo an air traffic controller stands beneath a radar screen in the control tower at Washington’s Reagan National Airport. House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Bud Shuster, R-Pa., is launching a push this week to take control of that system away from the government and hand it to a non-profit corporation directed by the airlines, airports, and labor unions, among others. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

That new federally chartered air traffic control corporation would come under a board representing system users.

The bill also tries to speed up the Federal Aviation Administration’s safety approval process for new aircraft designs and equipment.

The measure comes from Republican Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania — the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman — and GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, who heads the aviation subcommittee.