Trump pushes for privatizing USA air traffic control
07 Juin, 2017, 08:03 | Author: Marc Bacque
US President Donald Trump announced modernisation of the country's "outdated" air traffic control system to help reduce wait time, increase route efficiency and safety and ensure fewer delays.
Here's the rest of President Trump's "infrastructure week:" In coming days he and other administration officials will call on states, cities and private companies to pay more for rebuilding roads, bridges, railways, airports and other types of infrastructure. The FAA spent $7 billion to modernize the aviation system during the Obama administration.
"The system will be much more quick to respond - be able to buy new equipment and not be tied up with appropriations from Congress to keep it running", said aviation expert Mark Weinkrantz.
Trump cast the decision as a a step that will ultimately lead benefit travelers.
"Today, the US air traffic control system is the best in the world, moving more aircraft, more safely and efficiently, than any other country".
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The initiative, which Trump signed after the close of his remarks, will be sent to Congress who will ultimately weigh its adoption. With the technology available today, this would no longer be necessary and the control center could be relocated, with air traffic controllers using digital displays. 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.
The President's plan to privatize air traffic control at our nation's airports is being watched closely in Oklahoma City.
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. Democrats, on the other hand, believe that the public would best be served by funneling more money into the existing structure in a concentrated to modernize the system. On Monday, it did not reject the Trump proposal, but said it wanted to review specifics. "The idea that we would take the safest system in the world and the most complicated, and suddenly privatize it, that's insane", he said.
Katko, R-Camillus, said he has been studying the issue for the past two years, and saw the difference privatization can make when he was part of a congressional delegation trip to Canada. That effort picked up steam a year ago when the union that represents air traffic controllers agreed to support a proposal by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., to spin off air traffic operations into a private, nonprofit corporation in exchange for guarantees that controllers would retain their benefits, salaries and union representation.
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