President Donald Trump outlined a plan on Monday to privatize the US air traffic control system to modernize outdated systems and lower the cost of flying, but the proposal faced immediate criticism from Democrats.
In fact the proposal to break off the air traffic function from the government’s Federal Aviation Administration was first proposed during the Clinton administration, and was revived early previous year in legislation introduced by Pennsylvania Republican Bill Shuster. “After billions and billions of tax dollars spent and many years of delays, we are still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated terrible system that doesn’t work”, Trump said.
President Trump said this morning that he would push for privatization of Air Traffic Control, taking the almost 30,000 employees from under the authorization of the FAA in what is referred to as his “Air Traffic Control Reform Initiative”.
“The National Traffic Controller Association – the public employee union representing air traffic controllers – support this change for a number of reasons, but for one, they think they will have a better quality of work under this new system, which will then help them with recruitment efforts”.
Some congressional critics of privatization lay the blame for air traffic snags on the airlines rather than the FAA.
Kelly, seated across from Trump, pitched the president on the idea of creating a nonprofit group to handle air traffic control.
Trump’s proposal is just that – a proposal.
Sargent goes on to warn about the “devil in the details”, wondering how the new entity will be structured and if it will be removed from government and will protect taxpayers. Thune has previously suggested that there is not enough support on his committee to move an FAA reauthorization bill in the coming weeks that includes air traffic reform. Shuster wanted to end a tax on airline tickets that’s used to pay controllers. The seventh is scheduled for Thursday and will feature U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.
“The current system can not keep up, hasn’t been able to keep up for many years”.
Trump argued that America’s aviation system is “stuck painfully in the past”.
Bill Shuster, R-Pa., adopted the issue in recent years as a primary goal of his tenure as House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman and it folds nicely into Trump’s agenda that has promised to use private dollars to solve the nation’s aging infrastructure problems. He also called the system “ancient, broken, antiquated” and “horrible” and said his reforms would make it safer and more reliable.
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. So far, Trump has only sent a plan to Congress, so the debate between the two sides will begin soon.