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Big, fat bill on privatizing air-traffic control pits consumers against airlines

by AirTalk

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Today the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved legislation that would transfer control of the air-traffic control system out of the hands of the Federal Aviation Administration to a not-for-profit corporation. David McNew/Getty Images

Today the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved legislation that would transfer control of the air-traffic control system out of the hands of the Federal Aviation Administration to a not-for-profit corporation.

The bill is called The Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act. Opponents argue that the bill is essentially a power grab by the airlines, and that the publicly-funded air-control system should not be run by the proposed 11-member corporation, which would partly be comprised of members nominated by the major airlines.

In addition to the issue of how and who should run air-traffic control, the two Republican lawmakers who introduced the bill also added a few items that consumers would likely find favorable, like requiring all airports to have lactation rooms, a ban on in-flight voice calls, and a mandatory refund for baggage fees if luggage go missing for more than 24 hours.

Guests: 

Robert Poole, Director of Transportation Policy, the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank

Thomas L. Hendricks, President and CEO of National Air Transportation Association, public policy group that represents the interests of the general aviation business community; represents nearly 1,600 aviation businesses

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