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Time to Get US Air Traffic Control Out of the 1960s

Time to Get US Air Traffic Control Out of the 1960s

If the airlines are not effectively investing in upgrading and modernizing their own systems, how can they possibly be trusted with oversight of air traffic control?

The union wants its workforce protected from salary and pension cuts, and the president's plan could run into trouble if air traffic controllers don't like what they see. Huerta released a brief statement, saying he supports "looking at new ways to help us provide stable and sufficient funding to more rapidly modernize our system, while maintaining the highest level of safety".

The president's push to privatize the system came as the airline industry and regulators have managed an extensive period of safety in the skies - there hasn't been a fatal crash of a domestic airliner in the U.S.in eight years.

The President wants to create a modern non-profit organization that operates not on taxes, but on fees paid by those who use USA airspace. To fund it, airlines would "contribute fees" rather than pay taxes. It's been kicked around the halls of Washington for decades as a way of taking air traffic control out of Congress's hands, which now funds the system each year.

The more remarkable feat is how many in the industry agree on the basics: The airline trade group supports a spinoff, and past year so did the air-traffic controller's union, which said it will evaluate the specifics of any bill.

"This new entity will not need taxpayer money, which is very shocking when people hear that", President Trump said in a Monday news conference. Governed by a board of directors, the organization will include airline representatives, government officials and aviation groups.

More news: President Trump's Campaign Announces a 'Pittsburgh, Not Paris' Rally in DC

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

Trump announced his plan to transfer authority over the air traffic control network from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to a private, non-profit entity - albeit under FAA supervision - the board of which would be comprised of airline, government and union personnel. It also enables air traffic corporations to issue long-term revenue bonds to pay for modernization projects, which is why countries like Canada and the United Kingdom are far ahead of the US. Passengers sitting inside the planes have better Global Positioning System navigation right in their pockets, he said.

But winning congressional approval could prove hard. Sen. Also, delays in updating landing and takeoff procedures to incorporate technological advances make the system less efficient. In the coming weeks we will ask you to contact your elected official to inform them of your opposition to this plan.

Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, disagrees.

Democrats have also pointed to the unprecedented safety under the current system and noted repeated computer system failures in recent years by USA airlines, questioning whether they are ready to handle complex technology modernization.

While Donald Trump and his administration are hopeful that Congress will authorize the privatization of air traffic control, and it would be a huge political win for them, the task of changing the most complex air traffic control system in the world will not be an easy one.

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