This page is intended as a one-stop reference for information about reform of the FAA. Please check out the new report from the Eno Aviation Working Group,  Time for Reform: Delivering Modern Air Traffic Control.

The information is organized into four areas:

– Action in the Current (115th) Congress
– Analysis of Air Traffic Control (ATC) Structure and Financing – From Government Entities
– Analysis of Air Traffic Control (ATC) Structure and Financing – From Non-Government Entities
– Past Legislative Efforts on ATC Reform

(Suggestions for items to be included on this page should be sent to jdavis [at] )

List of FAA authorization and extension laws since 1996

Links to the text of all federal laws relating to aviation, ever

Action in the Current (115th) Congress:

H.R. 4 – The revised version of H.R. 2997 introduced on April 13, 2018 (the “FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018”) without the air traffic control reform title   – bill text as introduced, section-by-section summary, “Ramseyer print” of H.R. 4’s amendments to existing law, and promotional materials.

S. 1405 – Senate Chairman Thune’s bill (Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2017) introduced June 22, 2017 – bill text as introduced, highlights of the bill, and a section-by-section summary provided by the Commerce Committee staff.

H.R. 2997 – House Chairman Shuster’s bill (21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act) introduced on June 22, 2017 – bill text as introduced and promotional materials. Together with a section-by-section summary prepared by Eno Center staff for Eno members and ETW subscribers only.

Letter from all previous heads of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization in favor of corporatizing air traffic control. (June 8, 2017)

House Democratic alternative FAA reform bill (Aviation Funding Stability Act) – bill text (H.R. 2800 as introduced)statement from Reps. DeFazio and Larsen, and two-page fact sheet (June 7, 2017). Plus: reaction to the bill from T&I chairman Shuster.

President Trump’s Principles for Reforming the U.S. Air Traffic Control System together with a letter to Congress transmitting the principles, June 5, 2017.

  • Reaction to President Trump’s June 5 announcement from House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders Shuster and DeFazio, and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee leaders Thune and Nelson,
  • Reaction to President Trump’s June 5 announcement from stakeholder groups: Airlines for America, AOPA, NBAANATCA, PASS.

Letter from Defense Secretary Mattis to Sen. McCain in support of ATC privatization, May 5, 2017.

PFC increase legislation (H.R. 1265) from Reps. DeFazio and Massie, March 1, 2017.

Letter from Senate Appropriations Committee leaders to Senate Commerce Committee leaders opposing the separation of air traffic control from the FAA, February 28, 2017.

President Trump and aviation industry leaders’ remarks on FAA/air traffic control issues, February 9, 2017 (video and transcript)

House aviation hearings:

Senate aviation hearings:

Analysis of Air Traffic Control (ATC) Structure and Financing – From Government Entities:

2017 – CRS Air Traffic Inc: Considerations Regarding the Corporatization of Air Traffic Control.

2017 – CRS The Airport and Airway Trust Fund: An Overview

2017 – USDOT Inspector General Although FAA Has Taken Steps To Improve Its Operational Contingency Plans, Significant Work Remains To Mitigate the Effects of Major System Disruptions

2016 – FAA Response to Senator Thune’s NextGen Inquiries

2016- GAO Next Generation Air Transportation System: Information on Expenditures, Schedule, and Cost Estimates, Fiscal Years 2004 — 2030

2016 – USDOT Inspector General Total Costs, Schedules, and Benefits of FAA’s NextGen Transformational Programs Remain Uncertain

2016 – GAO Air Traffic Control: Experts’ and Stakeholders’ Views on Key Issues to Consider in a Potential Restructuring

2016 – USDOT Inspector General FAA Lacks a Clear Process for Identifying and Coordinating NextGen Long-Term Research and Development

2016 – GAO Preliminary Observations of Potential Air Traffic Control Restructuring Transition Issues

2016 – USDOT Inspector General FAA Reforms Have Not Achieved Expected Cost, Efficiency, and Modernization Outcomes

2015 – USDOT Inspector General There Are Significant Differences Between FAA and Foreign Countries’ Processes for Operating Air Navigation Systems

2015 – CRS Memo on possible constitutional issues involved in corporatization of ATC

2015 – GAO Aviation Finance: Observations on the Effects of Budget Uncertainty on FAA

2015 – CRS Air Traffic Inc.: Considerations Regarding the Corporatization of Air Traffic Control

2014 – GAO Air Traffic Control System: Selected Stakeholders’ Perspectives on Operations, Modernization and Structure

2013 – CRS Federal Civil Aviation Programs: In Brief

2013 – CRS Sequestration at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): Air Traffic Controller Furloughs and Congressional Response

2012 – GAO Airport and Airway Trust Fund: Factors Affecting Revenue Forecast Accuracy and Realizing Future Expenditures

2012 – OIG Audit Report: Contract Towers Continue to Provide Cost-effective and Safe Air Traffic Services, But Improved Oversight of the Program is Needed

2011 – GAO Airport and Airway Trust Fund: Declining Balance Raises Concerns over Ability to Reach Future Demands

2006 – CRS Privatization and the Federal Government: An Introduction

2006 – GAO Next Generation Air Transportation System: Preliminary Analysis of Progress and Challenges Associated with the Transformation of the National Airspace System

2005 – GAO Air Traffic Control: Characteristics and Performance of Selected International Air Navigation Service Providers and Lessons Learned from Their Commercialization

2002 – IRS Excise Taxes and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, 1970-2002

1999 – GAO Whether the Airport and Airway Trust Fund was created solely to finance aviation infrastructure

1997 – Final Report of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission 

1994 – Interagency ATC Corporation Study (USATS Report)

1993 – From Red Tape to Results: Creating a Government that Works Better and Costs Less (alternate link 1) (alternate link 2)

1993 – Change, Challenge and Competition: Report of the National Commission to Ensure a Strong Competitive Airline Industry (alternate link)

1988 – CBO The Status of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund

1988 –  OTA Safe Skies for Tomorrow: Aviation Safety in a Competitive Environment

1983 – CBO Improving the Air Traffic Control System: An Assessment of the National Airspace System Plan

1982 – OTA Airport and Air Traffic Control System

Analysis of ATC Structure and Financing – From Non-Government Sources:

Eno Center for Transportation – Time for Reform: Delivering Modern Air Traffic Control (2017)

Competitive Enterprise Institute – Air Traffic Reform 2017: Frequently Asked Questions (2017)

Eno Center for Transportation – NextGen Working Group – Final Report (2015)

Eno Center for Transportation – NextGen Working Group – Statement of Principles (2015)

Clinton Oster (Indiana University) – Cited Problems with the Current Air Traffic Control System and Concerns about Changing the Organizational Structure (2015)

MITRE Corporation – CAA International Structures (2014)

Hudson Institute – Organization and Innovation in Air Traffic Control (2013)

Michael Harrison, Ira Gershkoff and Gary Church (Reason Foundation) – Air Traffic Control from Anywhere to Anywhere: The Case for ATC Facility Consolidation (2013)

Eno Center for Transportation – NextGen: Aligning Costs, Benefits and Political Leadership (2012)

Dorothy Robyn (Hamilton Project) – Air Support: Creating a Safer and More Reliable Air Traffic Control System (2008)

Clinton Oster (Indiana University) and John Strong (College of William & Mary) – Reforming the Federal Aviation Administration: Lessons from Canada and the United Kingdom (2006)

Robert Poole (Reason Foundation) – Business Jets and ATC User Fees: Taking A Closer Look (2006)

Paul Dempsey and others (McGill University) – The McGill Report on Governance of Commercialized Air Navigation Services (2005)

Vaughn Cordle and Robert Poole (Reason Foundation) – Resolving the Crisis in Air Traffic Control Funding (2005)

Ira Lewis – Analysis of Alternative Arrangements for Reform of U.S. Air Traffic Control (2004)

Elliott Sclar (NATCA) – Pitfalls of Air Traffic Control Privatization (2003) together with Robert Poole (Reason) response to NATCA white paper (2003)

Robert Poole and Viggo Butler (Reason Foundation) – How to Commercialize Air Traffic Control (2001)

Robert Poole and Viggo Butler (Reason Foundation) – Reinventing Air Traffic Control: A New Blueprint for a Better System (1996)

GRA, Inc. – U.S. and International Precedents for a Government Corporation (Draft Report) (1994)

GRA, Inc. – The Restructuring of FAA: Review of Past Studies (1993)

Robert Poole (Reason) – How to Spin Off Air Traffic Control (1993)

Robert Poole (Reason) – Privatizing the Air Traffic Control System (1986)

Raymond Belanger and Charles Newpol – A Study of the Safety/Regulatory Functions of the Air Traffic Control System (undated; sometime in the 1985-1987 period)

National Academy of Public Administration – The Air Traffic Control System: Management by a Government Corporation (1986)

Air Transport Association – Federal Corporation Approach to the Management and Funding of the Air Traffic Control System (1985)

Nick A. Komons – Bonfires to Beacons: Federal Civil Aviation Policy under the Air Commerce Act 1926-1938 (1978)

Glen Gilbert – PATCO-commissioned report: “The United States Air Traffic Corporation” (executive summary starts on page 85) (1975)

Paul Goldsborough – A History of Aeronautical Radio, Inc from 1929 to 1942 (undated)

Past Legislative Efforts on ATC Reform:

2015-2016 – Chairman Shuster’s proposal to remove air traffic control from the FAA and place it in a new nonprofit, privately held corporation.

H.R. 4441, the Aviation, Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act

Letters and statements in favor of the House legislation:

Letters and statements against the House legislation:

Letters and statements somewhat supportive and somewhat critical:

May 24, 2016 letter from Senators Thune and Nelson to Representatives Shuster and DeFazio urging them to take up the Senate FAA bill.

S. 2658, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act (became H.R. 636)

H.R. 636, the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016

2009-2010 – CRS summary of legislative actions in the 111th Congress.

2009 – House hearing on ATC modernization and NextGen

2007-2008 -Bush Administration proposal to fund air traffic control with user fees.

2006 – House hearing on NextGen financing options

2006 – House hearing on ATC modernization

2005 – Senate hearing on aviation capacity and congestion challenges

2005 – House hearing on ATC management in foreign countries

1999-2000 –Clinton Administration proposal to transform the FAA’s air traffic control function into a user-fee-financed, performance-based organization.

1998 – Senate hearings on air traffic control modernization

1998 – Senate hearings on FAA reauthorization and the report of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission

1997 – House hearings on user fee proposal

1993-1996 –Clinton Administration proposal to turn over air traffic control functions to an independent corporation.

1987 – House debate on taking the Airport and Airway Trust Fund off-budget.

1987 – Senate proposal to turn over air traffic control to a government-owned corporation.

1987 – Senate Aviation Subcommittee hearing on an independent FAA (Video)

1987  – Senate oversight hearing on air traffic control.

1984 – Senate hearing on the status of the air traffic control system.

1975 – Bill to re-establish an independent Federal Aviation Agency (outside USDOT)

1976 – Bill to establish a United States Air Traffic Services Corporation

1969-1971 – Establishment of Airport and Airway Trust Fund (incomplete)

1958 – Federal Aviation Act of 1958 – created the FAA

1957 – Aviation Facilities Planning: Final Report by the President’s Special Assistant

1955 – Aviation Facilities: The Report of the Aviation Facilities Study Group