Trump pushes for privatizing U.S. air traffic control

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.

Still, several other countries (including Canada) have successfully privatized air traffic control responsibilities in the last few decades, though this would be by far the biggest changeover in size and scope.

"Today we're proposing to take American air travel into the future, finally", said President Donald Trump.

"But after billions and billions of tax dollars spent and the many years of delays, we're still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated, terrible system that doesn't work".

Trump laid out the intended plan for the privatization of air traffic control. EAA supports modernization of the American airspace system, and progress is happening with the input of all the system's stakeholders.

President Donald Trump laid out his vision for overhauling and privatizing the air traffic control system in a press conference Monday.

But as usual, cost could be the determining factor in the end; the proposal is wrapped up in President Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan.

Meanwhile, small airports are concerned high user fees will favor large airlines and make it more hard for private pilots to fly.

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and a strong proponent of ATC privatization, suggested that he plans to move forward with a reform proposal again, which could also be in the coming weeks.

The organisation, which supported a similar proposal previous year, said it believes more reliable funding streams are critical, but wants to see "specifics".

The idea of privatizing air-traffic control has been floated since the 1990s - Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush at times supported the concept - without success. The White House officials said the new entity would be overseen by a 13-member board that will include representatives from the airline industry, unions, general aviation, airports and other sectors.

Critics of the plan have also questioned the White House's assertion that the plan will make passengers safer, pointing to the airlines' history of computer system failures and the risk that goes along with adopting a complex new satellite system.

The major domestic carriers all support the privatization plan, with the notable exception of Delta Air Lines. "In fact, nations that have privatized ATC have seen operational costs increase at a much higher rate than has been seen in the US under the FAA".

Business aircraft operators, private pilots and non-hub airports have also expressed concerns they may pay more and receive less service under a private corporation.

  • Zachary Reyes