Trump to Embrace Privatization of Air Traffic Control System

President Donald Trump is likely to announce a proposal to privatize the nation's air traffic control (ATC) system Monday, kicking off what the White House is calling "Infrastructure Week".

The move is part of a weeklong focus on proposals to improve the country's infrastructure, Efe reported.

If the GOP's plan becomes a reality, the air-traffic control system would be removed from the auspices of the Federal Aviation Administration and turned into a nongovernmental nonprofit, with a board of directors including representatives for airlines, regulators and consumer advocates.

"But after billions and billions of tax dollars spent and the many years of delays, we're still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated, awful system that doesn't work".

The plan includes updating "outdated technology" such as America's land-based radar system.

Trump wants to turn the air traffic control system into a modernized non-profit organization that operates on fees paid by airlines and others that use USA airspace, instead of taxes. "It's a system where everyone benefits from this", White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said in a conference call with reporters. What's different now, Gribbin said, is Republican control of the White House and both houses of Congress. Find us on Facebook too!

On Wednesday, President Trump is planning to travel to Cincinnati to discuss the freight movement on inland waterways.

Currently, the FAA oversees about 50,000 flights per day.

The president says the reforms would modernize the system and make it safer and more reliable.

The push to privatize the system comes as the airline industry and regulators have managed an extensive period of safety in the skies.

"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.

The proposal outlined criteria that the new entity must meet to oversee US air traffic control, including safety, national security, AND cybersecurity.

Some congressional critics of privatization lay the blame for air traffic snags on the airlines rather than the FAA. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said, "Government bureaucracy has held back innovation in American aviation".

Trump has been critical in the past of the FAA and air traffic control, saying his personal pilot has complained about how out of date and inefficient the agency is.

The system was first designed at a time when the number of air passengers was 100,000 a year, while that number is now approaching 1 billion. The remaining 5 would be filled by 4 top executives from big airlines and a union executive. It would create a new user fee on aircraft using the system to replace current taxes on aviation fuel and airline tickets. They argue these problems are proof that private business should not be trusted to do what's right for passengers.