WATCH: Trump Announces Air Traffic Control Initiative
President Donald Trump proposed yesterday to take the nation’s air traffic control system out of the hands of the federal bureaucracy and turn it over to to a self-financing, non-profit organization. Similar moves have been done by dozens of nations around the world. The objective of the initiative is to modernize traffic control technology and to have it supported by user fees, instead of taxpayer dollars.
Among the president’s remarks:
“For too many years, our country has tolerated unacceptable delays at the airport, long wait times on the tarmac, and a slowing of commerce and travel that costs us billions and billions of dollars in lost hours and lost dollars themselves. Today, we are proposing to take American air travel into the future – finally.
“We will launch this air travel revolution by modernizing the outdated system of air traffic control.
“Our air traffic control system was designed when roughly 100,000 people flew at our airports each year. We are now approaching nearly one billion passengers annually. The current system cannot keep up—hasn’t been able to keep up for many years. It causes flight delays and crippling inefficiencies, costing our economy as much as $25 billion a year in economic output. We live in a modern age, yet our air traffic control system is stuck painfully in the past.
“The FAA has been trying to upgrade our nation’s air traffic control system for a long period of years. But after billions and billions of tax dollars spent and the many years of delays, we are still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated, horrible system that doesn’t work.
“At its core, our new plan will dramatically improve America’s air traffic control system by turning it over to a self-financing, non-profit organization. This new entity will not need taxpayer money, which is very shocking when people hear that. They don’t hear that too often.
“If we adopt these changes, Americans can look forward to cheaper, faster, and safer travel — a future where 20 percent of a ticket price doesn’t go to the government, and where you don’t have to sit on a tarmac or circle for hours and hours over an airport…
“A modern air traffic control system will make life better for all Americans who travel, ship, or fly. It will reduce cost and increase convenience for every American consumer—and these new efficiencies will produce a huge economic boost for the country, and for the one in 14 American jobs that aviation supports.”