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Other Views: Trump’s air-traffic spinoff would be great flight forward

President Donald Trump is speaking Monday about his plan to separate air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration and place it in the hands of a private, non-profit corporation, in an effort to cut costs and speed up innovation.The so-called “infrastructure week” is an effort to make good on Trump’s campaign promise to dedicate $1 trillion in public-private funding on infrastructure improvement.”Since the early days of commercial air service, the federal government has owned and operated the US air traffic control system; yet, more than a half a century later, the government is still using much of the same outdated technology”, Trump said.”For too many years, our country has tolerated unacceptable delays at the airport, long wait times on the tarmac, and a slowing of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”. “Our plan will get you where you need to go more quickly, more reliably, more affordably, and yes, on time”.Trump added that the current United States air traffic control system is not prepared to deal with innovation and is plagued by “unacceptable delays”, which cost “billions” of dollars each year and constitute an economic burden to the nation.”The antiquated system we rely on today is inefficient and causes thousands of avoidable flight delays”, Shannon Gilson, a spokeswoman for American, said in an emailed statement.But officials say that with Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, it is time to try again. Find us on Facebook too! It would create a new user fee on aircraft using the system to replace current taxes on aviation fuel and airline tickets.About one in five flights arrived late or were cancelled at USA airports previous year, delaying travel for almost a million passengers.The FAA had been working to upgrade the system for years, Trump said.Government taxes would taper off as user fees increase to fund the new corporation, Shuster said. The FAA would continue to provide safety oversight of the system under a congressional privatization plan.While efforts to privatize the ATC system have been around for decades, the idea became closer to reality when the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) publicly came out in support of a proposal to separate the ATC system from the FAA in exchange for guarantees that its members would keep their benefits, salaries and union representation a year ago.The President’s speech is the first in a week that has been dubbed “Infrastructure Week” by the administration.The President’s plan to privatize air traffic control at our nation’s airports is being watched closely in Oklahoma City. Critics of the plan are also concerned that airlines would dominate the private-company board and limit access to airports by private aircraft and business jets.