Trump ATC Proposal Fails To Sway Opposition

Michael Sargent, a transportation and infrastructure policy analyst for The Heritage Foundation, says it's encouraging to see the president starting off his infrastructure proposals with trying to reform and improve current services, as opposed to just expanding government and calling for larger spending programs. Trump called the Obama administration's efforts to modernize the air traffic control system a "failure", saying the $7 billion it spent on upgrades was a "total waste of money".

President Donald Trump on Monday made his case for privatizing the nation's air traffic control system, arguing that it will enhance safety and reduce wait times for consumers.

"While AOPA is open to proposals aimed at making the air traffic control system more efficient and delivering technology in a timely and cost-effective manner, we have consistently said we will not support policies that impose user fees on general aviation", Baker said.

"The current system cannot keep up and hasn't been able to keep up for many years", Trump said.

The current version grew out of the 2013 federal budget standoff and sequester, which saw furloughs of air traffic controllers and the near shut-down of 149 smaller air traffic control towers.

Under the new plan, a new, not for profit entity would have access to "the best equipment in the world".

Both sides of the privatization debate say the system is one of the most complex and safest in the world.

Today's speech was very different than the one's we're used to since he took office.

Modernizing and or privatizing the air traffic control system is something The Heritage Foundation has long supported. NavCanada can raise private capital, make long-term financial commitments, and it recently lowered the fees it charges airlines. This highlighted several flaws in the system, as more people recognized air traffic control is a fast-moving, high-tech service business that is a poor fit for a slow-moving government regulatory agency whose funding is subject to the political whims of Congress.

Monday marked the start of a push from Washington, privatize air-traffic control.

In a summary document released by the White House, the Trump administration proposes a three-year transition period to shift oversight of air traffic control. The seventh is scheduled for Thursday and will feature U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.

USA airlines have campaigned for more than two decades to separate air traffic control operations from the FAA.

"There is no consensus on this short-sighted privatization proposal", DeFazio, of OR, said.

"We're going to top them, actually, by a long shot", the President said.

"Privatization jeopardizes these efforts, as well as any hope for a bipartisan, comprehensive Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that moves the needle on the many aviation issues upon which Democrats and Republicans agree", he said.

  • Salvatore Jensen