EAA opposes White House plan to privatize air traffic control system

Chao and Trump both praised air traffic controllers and said they would benefit from more up-to-date technology. "For the passengers, it's better they'll get from point to point faster, and the system would be safer", he said.

The president's plan would remove air traffic control duties from the Federal Aviation Administration and turn them over to a private nonprofit company. "This proposal is a solution in search of a problem".

The world's second-largest air traffic system, Nav Canada, was "corporatized" 20 years ago.

Baker said he sees Congress as having an important role in deciding the future of the air traffic system.

While the call for all new systems and a complete overhaul of the Air Traffic Control infrastructure may come as good news for some, the impact on efforts by the FAA and the drone industry to fully integrate drones into the system within the next few years is hard to judge. Then, last year, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster, a Republican from Pennsylvania, introduced a bill that would have privatized air traffic control.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also lashed out at the plan, insisting in a statement that the president "was recycling "a exhausted Republican plan that both sides of the aisle have rejected" and would hand control of one of our nation's most important public assets to special interests and the big airlines'".

"Selling off our Air Traffic Control system threatens passenger safety, undermines the FAA's ongoing modernisation, jeopardises access to rural airports and adds to the deficit", she said in a statement.

At a time when the price tag for the country's infrastructure improvements are measured in trillions, a comprehensive investment that includes air traffic control would be a major boon to a Trump administration looking for a legislative victory. Trump's plan will eliminate tax dollars in favor of user fees.

There are about 50,000 airline and other aircraft flights a day in the United States. The group now says it "looks forward to reviewing the specifics of the air traffic control reform legislation so we can evaluate whether it satisfies our union's principles".

Katko noted that the union representing controllers, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, supported Shuster's bill because it would provide a more predictable source of funding that would take budget decisions out of the hands of Congress.

"I have been and will remain deeply involved in any and all discussions on the impact of aviation proposals on the FAA Tech Center and the men and women, who work there", LoBiondo said. The administration is seeking congressional approval for the increased spending. Democrats have largely opposed the changes, warning that the proposed board overseeing the estimated 300 air traffic facilities and around 30,000 employees would be dominated by airline interests.

  • Zachary Reyes