FAA Reacts To President Trump's Air Traffic Control Proposal

A soaring vision from the president about his proposal to privatize the USA air traffic control system - turning it over to a nonprofit corporation that would upgrade how America routes some 50,000 daily flights across the nation - a task Trump says the FAA has failed to finish. So that's another point that has to be looked at: "How would they regulate the funding for this from the standpoint of not making the fees so onerous that it damages the aviation system?"

These comments were surprising given the fact that the American system handles orders of magnitude more traffic than any other in the world at efficiency and safety levels and costs per operation that are second to none.

The plan drew immediate support from most airlines, but faces stiff opposition from private aviation groups and in Congress. This would slow down enhancements and possibly compromise safety to fix a system that's not broken.

The current version grew out of the 2013 federal budget standoff and sequester, which saw furloughs of air traffic controllers and the near shut-down of 149 smaller air traffic control towers. The president endorsed spinning off air-traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration, a decades-old idea that would improve passenger experience and safety. Proponents of the idea claim that privatization will ensure steady funding through user fees, as opposed to air traffic control relying on yearly appropriations from Congress. Advocates also say that privatization would bring modernization, including a move to Global Positioning System technology for precise tracking instead of the ground-based radar still in use today. President Donald Trump's proposal to privatize the system is just a part of a plan to rebuild America's infrastructure, including airports located around the country.

Trump added with a touch of humor, "Other than that, it's quite good".

"Seize this opportunity - because if you don't, we're gonna come, and you're not gonna like it", U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster said.

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Canada has a public private partnership, and it has led to a system that is more automated and efficient, according to Davis.

Both sides of the privatization debate said the system is one of the most complex and safest in the world.

Congress must pass a bill reauthorizing the FAA by September 30.

Some congressional critics of privatization lay the blame for air traffic snags on the airlines rather than the FAA.

On Monday, Trump proposed putting air traffic control in the hands of a private, nonprofit organization that would use modern equipment, like Global Positioning System technology. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., and Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said in a January news release. The changes would involve moving from the current system, based on radar and voice communications, to one based on satellite navigation and digital communications.

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