Plans To Privatize Air Traffic Control System In Works
Plans To Privatize Air Traffic Control System In Works
19 June, 2017, 05:18
Donald Trump on Monday unveiled his proposal to hand over control of the US air-traffic control system to a non-profit corporation as he kicked off a week-long push for his infrastructure plan.
Trump wants to turn the air traffic control system into a modernized non-profit organization that operates on fees paid by airlines and others that use USA airspace, instead of taxes.
The new plan would separate air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in a reorganization that the Trump administration claims will improve safety and allow for quicker adoption of new technology. "After billions and billions of tax dollars spent and many years of delays, we are still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated awful system that doesn't work", Trump said.
While efforts to privatize the ATC system have been around for decades, the idea became closer to reality when the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) publicly came out in support of a proposal to separate the ATC system from the FAA in exchange for guarantees that its members would keep their benefits, salaries and union representation past year.
Opponents, including Delta Air Lines, say the system is so large that privatization would not save money, would drive up ticket costs and could create a national security risk. "In addition, we do have the safest system in the world, and the FAA has been on a vigorous modernization program for the last several years".
In a report last month, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service found no strong evidence that privatization is better than the Federal Aviation Administration's existing air traffic control system.
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USA airlines have been campaigning for more than two decades to separate air traffic control operations from the FAA.
The letter says the groups have concerns about user fees, among other things, that are "based on our operating experiences in these foreign systems and impact they have had on general aviation". "This is hugely controversial", said Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), He believes there are democrats and republicans on the House Transportation Committee, who are opposed to the plan. When Rep. Bill Shuster (R, Pa.) put forth a plan to accomplish this in 2016, it stalled on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. She also said that the airline expected to be able to cooperate with the Trump administration "to make air travel cleaner, safer and more efficient".
They point to the slow-going move from a radar-based system to one that uses GPS technologies as evidence of a need for change.
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Bloombergreported that other airlines want to work with Trump to bring air travel to the future. The new system would implement user fees and Airport Manager Duane DuRay said they are anxious about the effect it will have on the general aviation community.
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