Trump pushes for privatizing US air traffic control
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 06, 2017,
Jun 06, 2017, 20:52
Gary Cohn, Trump's economic adviser who helped design the infrastructure plan, told the New York Times that taxpayers would incur no cost for the planned updates to the air traffic control system. It claims airline problems, including broken planes and tardy flight crews, are responsible for most of the delays in the system. A number of the major United States carriers, including American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, have also declared their support for the plan.
Southwest chief Gary Kelly sparked that conversation at a White House meeting, bemoaning an aging system that contributes to congestion at major airports.
The news of President Trump's proposed plan to privatize the nation's air traffic control system is starting to travel among those arriving and leaving airports across the country. "If Trump wants to actually put forward a proposal along these lines, he's going to have to put a lot of personal juice behind it".
His campaign for public and private funding for the projects is expected to run from the White House, where he'll speak about upgrading air traffic control, to OH on inland waterways and through meetings with mayors, governors and Transportation Department officials. That idea has received push back from Delta and a coalition of general aviation interests, including private pilot groups and rural airports.
He added, "America is the nation that pioneered air travel and with these reforms". "If we aren't able to modernize and innovate using the latest technology, the impacts to the traveling public will continue to grow".
So far, the person holding much of the power over the bill in the Senate, John Thune, the South Dakota Republican chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee, stopped short of endorsing the measure in an emailed statement Monday. "The non-profit NAV Canada corporation the world's second-largest air navigation service provider, has improved safety, retained the same rates for customer charges over the past 17 years, rebuilt infrastructure, and developed cutting-edge air traffic technology".
The air traffic controllers' union is generally supportive of the proposal, as it sees the current FAA air traffic control system as somewhat inefficient. There has not been a fatal crash of a domestic passenger airliner in the U.S.in eight years.
Proposed legislation includes the creation of a non-profit corporation controlled by a 13-member board with representation from the major airlines and the broader aviation community. "Then those members, along with the board's CEO, would select four independent members".
There will be ongoing dialogue with all stakeholder groups, including representatives of the FAA Tech Center employees, LoBiondo said.
Safety regulation would remain the FAA's core function, Trump says.
He said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which now tracks air traffic is outdated and inefficient.
As Max Sawicky pointed out in a very comprehensive paper a year ago, the technology used by air traffic control systems is also pretty unusual and very hard to replace regularly. Union leaders say controllers are exhausted of working with outdated equipment and are concerned about government shutdowns and furloughs.
In response to the administration June 5 announcement, DeFazio said: "There is no consensus on this short-sighted privatization proposal". "Committee Democrats are working on targeted reforms to help speed up the FAA's modernization efforts without privatizing the system". Nonetheless, the White House appears to have all but abandoned hope for bipartisanship on the issue.