The pros and cons of privatizing air traffic control

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President Trump to embrace privatization of air traffic control system " At a time when every passenger has GPS technology in their pockets, our air traffic control system still runs on radar and ground-based radio systems", explained Trump.

Today President Trump welcomes to the White House CEOs of the biggest US airlines to endorse the creation of an airline controlled corporate monopoly to take over the nation's air traffic control system from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The air traffic controllers' union also is supportive of the proposal. "However, the USA has a very safe air traffic system today and we don't hear complaints from our almost 350,000 members about it", said Baker.

Airlines have been lobbying vigorously for the change, saying the FAA's NextGen program to modernize the air traffic system is taking too long and has produced too few benefits.

The U.S. air traffic control system, the world's largest and most complex, is in the midst of an era of unsurpassed safety. To fund it, airlines would "contribute fees" rather than pay taxes. Over 60 countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain, have self-supporting air traffic control corporations.

"I'm proposing new principles to Congress for air traffic control reform, making flights quicker, safer and more reliable", Trump said in a statement. 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.

Other nations that have privatized air traffic control have had to bail them out to prevent bankruptcy.

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I applaud President Trump for his leadership in putting forth a bold plan and vision for moving ATC out of FAA and creating a more efficient and effective Air Traffic Control. Funding for the new organization will come exclusively from user fees, and the use of those funds will be managed by, among others, airline representatives, unions, and general aviation and airports.

Bay Area NATCA representative Scott Conde told NBC Bay Area last fall there's already a critical shortage of air traffic controllers. It also enables air traffic corporations to issue long-term revenue bonds to pay for modernization projects, which is why countries like Canada and the United Kingdom are far ahead of the US. "We can do much better".

Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is a proponent of what he calls separating the regulator from the service provider.

But winning congressional approval could prove hard. Sen. The President said the plan will use technology from companies around the world, though he declined to name them.

Airlines in the USA have campaigned to separate the FAA. and ATC for two decades, but the proposal still has to pass muster with Democrats.

The idea of privatization popped up in 2016 and was backed by both Airlines for America and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, but failed to get enough Congressional support.