Using money from the recent infrastructure bill, the Federal Aviation Administration will finally be able to start the long overdue upgrade of the U.S. air traffic control system. That's a first stage in a plan that will eventually top out at $5 billion.
The money will not only buy 'next generation' technology to guide the steadily-growing air traffic around the country but will also repair the leaky pipes and roofs of the system's aging buildings, many of which have suffered from deferred maintenance.
The 22 centers that direct traffic between airports were built during the 1960s; of the 'TRACON' facilities that manage take-off and landing at the busiest airports, more than half are over forty years old. The upgrades will take several years to complete.