Trump pushes for privatizing United States air traffic control


He also called the system "ancient, broken, antiquated" and "horrible".

Airlines contend the FAA's NextGen program to modernize the air traffic system is taking too long and has produced too few benefits.

"Honestly, they didn't know what the hell they were doing", Trump said at a White House briefing.

The airlines and air traffic controllers like the idea of privatization because they contend it would create a steadier stream of funding.

Estes said in a statement that he shares President Trump's desire to improve travel in the USA but also wants the plan to protect the needs of general aviation.

US airlines have lobbied to separate air traffic control from the FAA for two decades and Trump's budget plan released earlier this year called for the changes, placing air traffic operations under an "independent, non-governmental organization". The FAA would still have some oversight capacity, but the major airlines would govern this corporation.

The Federal Aviation Administration spends close to $10 billion per year on air-traffic control, Reuters reported.

Speaking after the event on Monday, Shuster applauded Mr. Trump's leadership in following through on the reforms, and said he is "challenging the old ways of thinking in Washington" and that "complacency is innovations greatest threat".

FAA Administrator Michael P.

Declaring the current system "stuck painfully in the past", Trump called for separating air traffic control operations from the Federal Aviation Administration, an approach that USA airlines have long championed.

The group Flyers' Rights calls it the "creation of an airline controlled corporate monopoly".

The AP also notes that business aircraft operators, private pilots, and non-hub airports have expressed concern that "they may pay more and receive less service under a private corporation".

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The move, which was part of Mr. Trump's budget blueprint, proposes a shifting of air traffic control (ATC) operations from the FAA to a not-for-profit, non-government entity.

Trump's plan to privatize air traffic control operations will likely be included in legislation reauthorizing the FAA. The administration is seeking congressional approval for the increased spending.

Shuster sheparded his bill through the Transportation Committee previous year, but it didn't advance from the House. On Thursday, he will invite governors and mayors across the country to the White House for a listening session on infrastructure improvements.

On Wednesday, President Trump is planning to travel to Cincinnati to discuss the freight movement on inland waterways. But one Kentucky congressman doesn't see much point in the visit. Believe it or not, US air traffic controllers still keep track of planes by passing little strips of paper around.

Trump says the airline industry in America still relies on radar and ground control tracking systems, when nearly all of us have GPS enabled devices in our pockets.

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

Commercial airlines are supporting the privatization plan, and opponents are concerned the new system would be dominated by airline interests. Here's NPR's David Schaper.

The White House on Monday said the plan would modernise the USA system, reducing costs and delays. His bill to privatize air traffic control died past year. Airlines have to more carefully manage their schedules in real time to reduce delays, say experts.

"I share President Trump's desire to make travel in America's airspace safer, more efficient and technologically advanced", Estes says. "Our plan will get you where you need to go quickly, more reliably, more affordably, and yes, for the first time in a long time, on time".

If run as an independent nonprofit, the air traffic control system would charge fees to airlines and other users to cover costs instead of spending tax dollars. Governed by a board of directors, the organization will include airline representatives, government officials and aviation groups.

SCHAPER: Paul Hudson is president of the passenger advocacy group