|House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during voting for the AIRR Act. Photo: House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
[Avionics Today 02-12-2016] The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has approved legislation that establishes an independent, not-for-profit corporation outside of the federal government to modernize America’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) system and provide air traffic services. The bill was approved Feb. 10, by a vote of 32 to 26.
H.R. 4441, the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, introduced by Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo, reauthorizes the FAA while providing a number of reforms to the aviation system.
Under the AIRR Act, a board representing the aviation system’s users and the public interest will govern the federally chartered ATC corporation. According to a statement released by the committee, the comprehensive reauthorization bill would also streamline the FAA’s aviation equipment and aircraft certification processes, provides additional improvements for consumers, addresses aviation safety issues, gives the FAA more tools for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems, and provides for airport infrastructure improvements across the country.
There is still opposition to the AIRR act from members of industry, notably Delta Air Lines, which argues that an independent ATC corporation could result in increased user costs and further setbacks to the implementation of NextGen technologies and procedures.