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Trump’s Air Traffic Control Privatization Proposal: Stakeholder Reactions

Posted by Joe Gentle on Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Air Traffic ControlThis week, President Trump announced a proposal to privatize air traffic control throughout our nation’s aviation system. If the proposal becomes law, the FAA will no longer be responsible for managing air traffic control; instead, the responsibility will be delegated to a nonprofit corporation headed by board members representing various sectors of the aviation industry.

According to President Trump, “We are taking the first important step to clearing the runway for more jobs, lower prices and much, much, much better transportation…The current system cannot keep up, hasn’t been able to keep up for many years.”

The following reactions represent a portion of the views expressed by stakeholders, experts and politicians on both sides of the aisle:

“NATCA shares the Administration’s commitments to infrastructure modernization and providing the National Airspace System (NAS) with a stable, predictable funding stream. We look forward to reviewing the specifics of the air traffic control (ATC) reform legislation so we can evaluate whether it satisfies our Union’s principles, including protecting the rights and benefits of the ATC workforce.”
-Paul Rinaldi, President, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)

“Our nation’s airspace is the safest in the world, in no small part because of the exemplary work of our Air Traffic Controllers and aviation safety professionals at the FAA. Trump’s ideas for privatizing Air Traffic Control – which recycle a tired Republican plan that both sides of the aisle have rejected – would hand control of one of our nation’s most important public assets to special interests and the big airlines. Selling off our Air Traffic Control system threatens passenger safety, undermines the FAA’s ongoing modernization, jeopardizes access to rural airports and adds to the deficit.”
-Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

“I commend the President for his leadership in challenging the old way of thinking in Washington…This reform will bring our aviation system into the 21st century.  As Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I would never support a policy that would endanger the safety of our aviation system and passengers.  The fact is this is a proven, good-government reform that has been successfully done around the world in over 60 other countries, and will improve our aviation system for all of its users and all of our communities – large and small.”
-Bill Shuster, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman

“While the FAA has made progress to upgrade our nation’s air traffic control system, despite certain constraints, I support looking at new ways to help us provide stable and sufficient funding to more rapidly modernize our system, while maintaining the highest level of safety. The proposal to create a separate, non-government air traffic control service provider is a step in a process that needs to involve all users of the airspace system and deliver benefits to the system as a whole.”
-Michael Huerta, FAA Administrator

“As the nation starts to get serious about infrastructure, it’s important to differentiate ‘privatization’ and selling off government assets, and real investment in infrastructure. Privatization itself is not a solution to anything, and is actually a way to avoid responsibility for real federal investment in our infrastructure. “Let the private sector do it” is not responsible infrastructure leadership.”
-US High Speed Rail Association (USHSR)

“As the Dr. David Dao and subsequent incidents clearly indicate, the airline industry wastes no opportunity to demonstrate its blatant disregard for the personal safety and financial well-being of the millions of consumers who must rely on the nation’s airlines every day…Instead of supporting efforts to rein in the worst excesses of an oligopolistic industry, the White House is proposing to give the airlines even greater power — this time over the critically important air traffic control system. Such a power grab by the industry is entirely unacceptable and should be resisted.”
-Sally Greenberg, Executive Director, National Consumers League (NCL)

“President Trump’s attempt to shift public attention away from his Russia troubles by rolling out an infrastructure privatization scheme only exposes his Administration’s radical agenda to sell off the highways, bridges, and clean water we all rely on to benefit foreign corporations and Wall Street investors. President Trump’s push today to dismantle the Federal Aviation Administration and put it under private control is just the first step of a larger scheme that appears to cut existing infrastructure spending while forcing taxpayers to subsidize the construction of border walls and private prisons. If this administration was serious about putting people to work and addressing our infrastructure needs they would be touting something very different.”
-Congressional Progressive Caucus


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One Response to “Trump’s Air Traffic Control Privatization Proposal: Stakeholder Reactions”

  1. linda meyer says:

    As usual, the Republicans will privatize what should be called the commons. Those of us in the middle and lower incomes will pay for this scheme multiple times in higher air fairs, lessened safety, and having to subsidize corporate profits that these entities won’t be paying. In the case of privatizing roads and bridges, we will also have to pay for both the corporate subsidies and tolls in order to use the roads and bridges that our country as a whole needs.

    This is nothing more than another scheme to rob from the lower income levels in order to give money to the already wealthy.

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