Shuster gives up on US ATC spin-off

Bill Shuster, the chairman of the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has conceded that there is insufficient support in Congress to move forward with a plan backed by President Donald Trump to spin off the nation’s  air traffic control system.

Shuster said in a statement: “Despite an unprecedented level of support for this legislation – from bipartisan lawmakers, industry, and conservative groups and labour groups alike – some of my own colleagues refused to support shrinking the federal government by 35,000 employees, cutting taxes, and stopping wasteful spending.”

The proposed legislation, which was unveiled by Shuster back in June and which his committee approved in a 32-25 vote last year, would have shifted control of the country’s air navigation system to a private nonprofit organisation over three years. The system would have been controlled by a board of directors that would have the power to impose user fees.

Shuster has vowed to continuing to work with the Senate to move forward with legislation to reauthorise the Federal Aviation Administration, which expires at the end of March.