President Trump held a press conference at the White House on Monday to roll out his plan to privatize the nation's air traffic system. "I look forward to reviewing the proposal laid out by the President today". "It causes flight delays and crippling inefficiencies, costing our economy", Trump said.
"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", said Trump. "Many controllers must use slips of paper to track our thousands and thousands of flights". Back in February, Trump sat down with executives from America's major airlines, but a comment from Southwest Airlines chief Gary Kelly stuck with him.
"While AOPA is open to proposals aimed at making the air traffic control system more efficient and delivering technology in a timely and cost-effective manner, we have consistently said we will not support policies that impose user fees on general aviation", Baker said.
But Trump's "plan" is just camouflage and talk.
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Creating the impression of a bill signing, Trump was surrounded by the lawmakers after his remarks as he signed a decision memo and a letter to Congress outlining his principles for the air traffic control plan.
Meanwhile, small airports are concerned high user fees will favor large airlines and make it more hard for private pilots to fly.
Here's the rest of President Trump's "infrastructure week:" In coming days he and other administration officials will call on states, cities and private companies to pay more for rebuilding roads, bridges, railways, airports and other types of infrastructure. This time, he wants to hand over one of the largest and safest air traffic control systems in the world to the private sector.
The private ATC organisation would be funded by users of the aviation system, and not reliant on taxpayer money, Trump says. "If we aren't able to modernize and innovate using the latest technology, the impacts to the traveling public will continue to grow".
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The idea to privatize air traffic control is not new, according to sources in the aviation industry.
In a statement, FlyersRights.org calls the airlines "the least-capable industry" to run air traffic control, pointing to recent computer outages and customer relations meltdowns. The FAA spent $7 billion to modernize the aviation system during the Obama administration.
Proposed legislation includes the creation of a non-profit corporation controlled by a 13-member board with representation from the major airlines and the broader aviation community.
The union represents 11,000 FAA employees. The FAA will maintain responsibility for safety oversight. He failed to mention, however, that Canada employs nine times fewer air traffic controllers than the U.S. FAA. After all, it's one less thing for the government to control.
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Rick Larsen, D-Wash., and Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said in a January news release.