Press Releases

Shuster Statement on DOT Inspector General Report on Air Traffic Control Reform Models of Other Nations

Washington, DC, September 9, 2015 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 | comments
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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) released a statement today after the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (DOT OIG) issued an audit report requested by the Committee on the effectiveness of the structural and organizational reforms implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over the last two decades and the differences between the FAA and the air navigation service providers (ANSPs) of Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The DOT IG report found that other industrialized countries have successfully separated their air traffic control (ATC) functions from their safety oversight and regulatory functions without compromising safety.  Furthermore, it was found that ANSPs outside the United States generate their own revenue streams and make their own decisions regarding operating the ATC system and modernizing equipment and procedures.  

“If we want to finally modernize our aviation system, reduce delays, and generate more efficiencies in our skies, we can’t continue to just tinker around the edges.  We have to take action that transforms the way we do things,” Shuster said.  “Today’s DOT IG report shows that other major industrial countries have successfully separated their ATC functions without negative impacts to safety, and these systems are able to make enough money to be self-sustaining.  As Congress continues to work on FAA reauthorization and reform legislation, these examples demonstrate that ATC reform is a viable option that can benefit consumers and the aviation community.”

The U.S. aviation system is the busiest in the world and passenger levels are expected to reach one billion passengers annually by the end of the next decade.  However, this growing demand will further burden an air traffic control system that is based on decades-old technology.  Repeated federal efforts to modernize the system have failed, despite spending billions of taxpayer dollars.  Furthermore, American innovation in the industry continues to be stifled by bureaucracy, and federal aviation funding remains subject to political uncertainty and budget battles.  The Committee continues to develop legislation that ensures a safe, efficient, modern aviation system that benefits passengers with fewer delays and greater reliability, fosters innovation, and secures America’s future competitiveness in aviation.

Click here to read the DOT OIG’s report.

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Tags: Aviation