"Stepping into an air traffic control tower in the United States today is like stepping into a time machine," writes Rep. Thomas Petri, R-Wis., the ranking member of the House Transportation Committee. Transitioning to the satellite-based NextGen air traffic control system is vital to upgrading and safeguarding the nation's airspace, he writes, defending the House version of an FAA reauthorization bill that speeds up the transition to NextGen. "We must not let a few controversial provisions contained in the House bill hold up this legislation," he concludes. "Now is the time for Congress to act and put air traffic control modernization and safety first."

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