Obama signs bill modernizing aviation system

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed legislation that modernizes the nation’s aviation system, speeding up the nation’s switch from radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology. The law also opens up the skies to military, commercial and privately-owned unmanned drones.

The legislation faced opposition from some labor unions because it set new rules governing union organizing elections at airlines and railroads.

The Senate passed the bill last week, completing action after a struggle that shut down the Federal Aviation Administration for two weeks.

The law authorizes $63.4 billion for the FAA over four years, including about $11 billion toward the air traffic system and its modernization. It sets a deadline of June 2015 for the FAA to develop new arrival procedures at the nation’s 35 busiest airports.