Sabato, 21 Ottobre, 2017

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

WASHINGTON DC- JUNE 05 U.S. President Donald Trump announces the Air Traffic Control Initiative during an event in the East Room of the White House Pilots, Congress weigh on Trump's plan to privatize air traffic control
Sveva Terracina | 19 Giugno, 2017, 05:16

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. He's planning to outline his goals to privatize the system in a White House speech that will be closely watched by the airline industry.

"It doesn't matter who you are, whether you're a farmer in the Midwest or a mother driving your kids to and from school, or work, or a college kid flying back and forth to school, you're affected by infrastructure", Cohn said.

In fact the proposal to break off the air traffic function from the government's Federal Aviation Administration was first proposed during the Clinton administration, and was revived early past year in legislation introduced by Pennsylvania Republican Bill Shuster.

Monday marked the start of a push from Washington, D.C.to privatize air-traffic control. Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for air traffic control, however, under Trump's proposal; a not-for-profit corporation will handle air traffic control functions for the busiest airspace on the planet.

In addition to fears that the system would drive up the cost of air travel, Democrats argue that the change is both unnecessary and the advanced technologies may be too much for carriers to handle, especially in light of computer glitches experienced by major USA airlines. The FAA would continue to provide safety oversight of the system under a congressional privatization plan.

About 60 countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, have gone to similar semi-private management of their air-traffic networks.


The plan is based on legislation previously proposed by Representative Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania), who now serves as chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

While the current FAA-led ATC system has produced one of the safest aviation programs in the world, there has been bipartisan efforts to rid the system of delays and cancellations.

They point to the slow-going move from a radar-based system to one that uses GPS technologies as evidence of a need for change.

Legislation already exists to accomplish nearly exactly what Trump wants, as Congress has previously debated the matter at length. Democrats have largely opposed the changes, warning that airline interests would dominate the proposed board, overseeing an estimated 300 air traffic facilities and around 30,000 employees. The bill authorizes that corporation to impose user fees, which would replace the current tax on airline tickets.

US airlines have been campaigning for decades to separate air traffic control operations from the FAA and have also argued that FAA efforts to modernize the air traffic system is taking too long and has produced too few benefits.

An evening stranded on an O'Hare airport runway is enough to make anyone mad, and on Monday Donald Trump responded with a plan for improving American air travel.

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