America is long overdue for an overhaul of our radar-based air traffic control system. Yet federal modernization efforts are plagued by delays, cost-overruns, and shifting goals and requirements. Congress and regulators have been lackluster at managing and upgrading the 24/7 business of air traffic control, according to reams of government audit reports.
That's why many policymakers, air traffic managers, free-market organizations, Clinton and Obama administration transportation experts, the Department of Defense, airlines, and even labor unions are supporting a proposal to restructure air traffic control around recognized best practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The U.S. is the last major industrialized country yet to reform air traffic control in this manner and the House is expected to vote soon on these reforms as part of the 21st Century AIRR Act.