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A growing number of countries have shifted their government-sponsored air traffic control systems into free-standing corporations directly funded by airlines and private-plane users. In Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, the Netherlands and Switzerland, governments own the new companies but they operate outside of civil service and procurement rules and outside of most governments’ budgets. In Canada, and soon in Britain, the companies are partly or entirely owned by private investors. In all cases, the governments continue as air-safety regulators and may have approval power over user-fee increases

Potential hazard

  1. Pressures to reduce staff and equipment expenditures to minimum levels with uncertain safety consequences

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