Key lawmaker gives up on privatizing air traffic control

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top proponent in Congress for privatizing the nation’s air traffic control system says the idea won’t fly this year.

That’s a setback for airlines, many of which lobbied to take the air-traffic system away from the Federal Aviation Administration and put it in the hands of a private, non-profit company run by aviation interests, including airlines.

President Donald Trump endorses the idea.

The chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Pennsylvania Republican Bill Shuster, said Tuesday there isn’t enough support to approve the proposal this year.

Airlines say a private operator would speed up modernization of air traffic control.

But owners of small planes fear the new operator would raise their fees and favor airlines. Critics in Congress say change is unnecessary and a giveaway of federal assets to private interests.

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