Lawmakers Clash Over Air Traffic Control Overhaul Backed by Southwest, American

WASHINGTON -- A bid to privatize the nation's air traffic control system is heading for a bumpy ride in Congress -- again.Lawmakers on Wednesday clashed over the divisive proposal at a House transportation committee hearing, despite the idea having the backing of President Donald Trump and major carriers like Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and Fort Worth-based American Airlines.That deep-seated contention represents something a policy holding pattern.The same approach to fixing America's aging air traffic control system failed last year and in years past. And lawmakers, splitting often along partisan lines, stuck to many of the talking points that have marked the debate over the Federal Aviation Administration's modernization's efforts.Rep. Peter DeFazio, the panel's top Democrat, argued that the U.S. is already "on the cusp of a 21st century system that will be the envy of the world." But Rep. Bill Shuster, the panel's GOP chairman, bemoaned the "shocking amounts of tax dollars and time" that have been wasted.So the proper path forward remains entirely a matter of perspective."The decisions we make ... will either move us toward the 21st century aviation system America needs or doom us to repeating the failures of the past over and over again," said Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican.  Continue reading...

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