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A series of high-profile crashes has sparked new concerns about airline safety. The disasters include this year's apparently deliberate crash of a Germanwings jetliner in Europe by a troubled co-pilot, the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner over war-torn Ukraine last July and the disappearance of another Malaysia Airlines plane on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014. Those and other incidents, coupled with increasingly crowded skies and airports stemming from growing worldwide passenger demand, are prompting airline regulators and operators to look for new ways to make aviation safer and more efficient. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is undertaking a $40 billion project aimed at converting U.S. air traffic control to a satellite-based communication and navigation system, but the project has run into delays and cost overruns and raised questions about the agency's ability to complete it. Meanwhile, controversy is brewing in Congress over calls to privatize air traffic control duties, now handled by the FAA.
Regulators are installing new logistics technologies.
Single European Sky aims to enhance flight safety.
Some want ejectable flight recorders.
Mental Health Screening
Experts seek better pilot evaluation.
Search for Malaysia Flight 370 continues.
|1903–1930s||Early aviation developments lead to first commercial and military planes.|
|1940s–1970s||Advances in wartime aviation technology help to spur growth of commercial aviation.|
|1980s–2000||Congress and FAA take additional steps to increase air safety.|
|2001-Present||Terror attacks lead to heightened airport security, and FAA plan to overhaul nation's aviation system spurs debate.|
Should the air traffic control system be privatized?
Chairman and CEO, American Airlines; Vice Chairman, Airlines for America.
The seven organizations are: American Federation of Government Employees; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Laborers' International Union of North America; National Association of Government Employees; National Federation of Federal Employees; Professional Association of Aeronautical Center Employees; and Professional Aviation Safety Specialists.