WASHINGTON —The chairman of the House transportation committee said Monday he’ll introduce a bill that takes control of air traffic operations away from the government and places it under the control of a nonprofit corporation run by airlines and other segments of the aviation industry.

Rep. Bill Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican, said keeping air traffic operations under government control would be “the surest road to failure.”

The Federal Aviation Administration has been hampered in recent years by governmentwide budget cuts.

Two years ago, air traffic was snarled at airports across the country for days after budget cuts resulted in the furlough of some controllers.

The FAA has also been working for 10 years on transitioning from a radar-based air traffic control system to one based on satellite technology, but there’s no completion in sight, Shuster said.

Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air traffic Controllers Association, said controllers are keeping an open mind on the proposal but want to see the details.


“The details really do matter,” he said.

Airlines have been heavily lobbying Congress to give them a greater say in air traffic operations and how they’re paid for.

Currently, air traffic control operations are financed through a series of taxes and fees on airline tickets and aviation fuels.

Shuster also said the bill, to be introduced this month, will require the FAA to delegate more responsibility to aircraft, engine and other aviation manufacturers for safety oversight of their products’ design and manufacture.

Some manufacturers have complained of long delays in getting the FAA’s approval to make their products. FAA approval is required for every aircraft design and the manufacture of each plane and piece of equipment.

The agency already delegates a lot of that responsibility to designated employees of the manufacturer who are overseen by regulators.

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