Pilots, Congress weigh on Trump’s plan to privatize air traffic control

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This is a week of infrastructure initiatives for the president.

Airlines argue that the outdated air traffic system is at the root of numerous industry’s troubles, but airlines themselves also are also at fault. The administration is looking to shift the spotlight back onto Trump’s agenda and away from a growing probe into alleged ties between his campaign and Russian Federation.

While U.S. air travel operations are among the safest in the world, American air traffic controllers still rely on a communication system that includes paper strips. Airlines have to more carefully manage their schedules in real time to reduce delays, say experts.

“Gribbin also said NATCA’s support stems from their belief that under this new system “[air traffic employees] will have a better quality of work”, which can be motivation to help close the staffing gap. “Many controllers must use slips of paper to track our thousands and thousands of flights”.

He also called the system “ancient, broken, antiquated” and “horrible” and said his reforms would make it safer and more reliable.Privatization has long had strong support among the nation’s airlines, and Republicans have advocated for it for years.The Administration’s plan mirrors an ATC reform proposal put forward by House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.).

ROBERT PUENTES: There’s no doubt that moving to this independent nonprofit system would be able to deploy this new technology faster than the way that we’re doing it right now.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But after billions and billions of tax dollars spent and the many years of delays, we’re still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated, disgusting system that doesn’t work.

“In this environment, bureaucratic efforts are unlikely to succeed”, Trump said in a letter to Congress, adding that “a new not-for-profit air traffic control entity that will leverage private capital” is needed. Technology company Harris Corp is a leading candidate to supply the FAA with real-time aircraft tracking data in partnership with satellite operator Iridium Communications Inc. “This new entity will be a nonprofit, coop organization where all surpluses will be reinvested in the system”.

But winning congressional approval would still be an uphill battle for Trump. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has said that privatization would protect workers from potential government shutdowns and uncertain Federal funding.

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), said the reform plan was a long time coming.

The plan drew immediate support from most airlines but faces some stiff opposition from private aviation groups and in Congress.

“The safety of the flying public should not be for sale”, Nelson said Monday.

“We’re proposing to take American air travel into the future”.

He went on to mention Canada’s system. The FAA is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. “The enhanced safety advancements come from the separation of the FAA and the air traffic control system”.

Shuster sheparded his bill through the Transportation Committee past year, but it didn’t advance from the House. Shuster spoke of modernizing the system as he held up three strips of paper to demonstrate one low tech way controllers now use to communicate.

The airlines say that the latest generation of airliners is ready for an updated system, even if the FAA isn’t. He thanked the former DOT Secretaries for participating in the event.

The corporation’s board would consist of 13 members: Two would represent the airlines, two would represent unions, one would represent general aviation, one would represent airports and two would represent the government as a whole.

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