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Constitutional Questions Prolong Air Traffic Control Debate

Fierce opposition to a controversial proposal to spin off the nation’s air traffic control operations into a separate nonprofit may have been buoyed by a recent Congressional Research Service report analyzing the proposal’s constitutionality, ensuring lawmakers won’t meaningfully debate the legislation anytime soon as floor time on Capitol Hill remains scarce.


“It’s one thing if we’re privatizing something where consumers have a choice of whether to use it or not,” Blank Rome LLP partner Art Hankin, who also is a pilot, told Law360. “You don’t have a choice as to whether a pilot is going to use air traffic control. And there’s no marketplace influence of the product that is in the private sector. I think it’s much better to have a well-funded government agency do it than the private sector.”

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"Constitutional Questions Prolong Air Traffic Control Debate," by Linda Chiem was published in Law360 on July 28, 2017.