Trump Signs Memo to Privatize Air Traffic Control

Trump unveils plan to privatize US air traffic control system

Trump, echoing carriers like Southwest, pushes to privatize 'horrible' air traffic control

WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump announced an initiative Monday that would privatize the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) air traffic control duties, claiming that previous efforts to upgrade air traffic have fallen far short. "We will launch this air travel revolution by modernizing the outdated system of air traffic control".

During a ceremony at the White House, President Trump said, "Our air traffic control system is stuck, painfully, in the past".

"Our plan will get you where you need to go more quickly, more reliably, more affordably and yes, for the first time in a long time, on time", he said today during a briefing. That would save time for passengers, and reduce costs and fuel consumption for airlines, which in turn could lower the price of oil.

Nationwide, there are about 50,000 airline and other aircraft flights a day. What's different now, Gribbin said, is Republican control of the White House and both houses of Congress. Plans to rebuild roads, bridges, railways, airports and other types of infrastructure are also expected. A number of the major United States carriers, including American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, have also declared their support for the plan.

"We support privatization", said Jon Weeks, a pilot and president of the Southwest pilots association, who attended the Oval Office announcement on Monday.

As reported by NPR, the USA air traffic controllers union sees the initiative as generally positive, and may prompt a change for a system it sees as inefficient, while calling for more specific details.

Estes said in a statement that he shares President Trump's desire to improve travel in the US but also wants the plan to protect the needs of general aviation. That's a testament to how inefficient the current system is.

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Under the President's plan the switch-over from a public to private system would take about three years.

Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is a proponent of what he calls separating the regulator from the service provider.

Air traffic control now falls under the operations of the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA had pushed back in a statement saying it had already spent $7.5 billion appropriated by Congress to update the system that managed air traffic control, ABC News reported. The changes will move the ATC system from radar and voice-based communications to a system based on satellite navigation and digital communications.

Union officials have complained that the FAA has been unable to resolve chronic controller understaffing at some of the nation's busiest facilities and pointed to the modernization effort's slow progress.

But winning congressional approval could still be an uphill battle for Trump. Sen.

But opponents are wary of big airline control and the disruptions of flipping such a major system.

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