The week ahead: Planes take center stage

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Elsewhere, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Aviation subcommittee will meet Wednesday to review the Federal Aviation Administration's plans for reducing the number of air traffic towers its operates.

The FAA is planning to switch the air traffic control system from the radar technology that has been around since World War II to a satellite-based system that has been dubbed "NextGen."

Republicans in the House have argued that the agency needs to cut costs and look to private companies for help funding the switch, which is projected to cost about $22 billion through 2025.

The House Aviation subcommittee will examine the agency's efforts to find savings by consolidating some of its flight towers.

Additionally this week, the House Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on Transportation Security will hold a hearing on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of U.S. flight schools training potential terrorists "a decade after 9/11."

The Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management will meet on Thursday to examine whether increasing the use of drones in U.S. airspace is a "security game changer."

Congress passed a law earlier this year requiring the FAA to test allowing drones to fly alongside commercial aircraft in U.S. airspace by 2015.

The FAA is planning a pilot program to test-fly drones in six locations, but the agency will not set the rules for what the unmanned aircraft can be used for. 


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