Seeking to ease congestion in the sky, the Federal Aviation Administration and the aviation industry have agreed to improve computerization of the nation's air traffic control system.

Instead of waiting to complete plans for a "wide-area" satellite system allowing planes to fly without the guidance of ground-based beacons, the FAA, airlines and aviation labor groups agreed to speed the introduction of new computer equipment and software. That will ease congestion in the current system and offer some benefits of the upcoming satellite system, they said."The consensus that has developed between the aviation community, labor unions and the FAA about how best to make our system more efficient is very good news," FAA Administrator Jane Garvey said Thursday.

Under the new agreement, select air traffic control centers would receive new computer work stations. They would be equipped with new software allowing the more efficient movement of airplanes.