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White House proposes to privatize Air Traffic Control

President Donald Trump is proposing to shift oversight of the United States Air Traffic Control from the federal government to an independent group, according to budget documents released on Thursday, May 25, 2017. ( More...

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tedtimmons 8
No one will benefit from this proposed change except for whomever the already super rich insiders are that will get a huge enterprise handed to them on a silver plate.

Once ATC is in private hands, general aviation will suffer from the new fees, air traffic controllers will make half of what they are making now and eventually safety will suffer.

The last time I flew in Canada, when I returned home, there was a bill waiting for me because I talked to ATC for maybe 2 minutes.

ATC has been privatized in every other country but the USA and in every case, it has hurt general aviation :-(

The super rich almost always get their way because us little guys don't have the resources to fight them :-(

The airlines only support this because they think they will be able to control ATC and get special treatment.

This privatization has been proposed year after year for more than 10 years, but now with the Republicans in large, you can bet that the really rich people will finally get their way.
Dave Fisher 7
"The super rich a̶l̶m̶o̶s̶t̶ always get their way because us little guys don't have the resources to fight them"

actually, it's because they write the laws and set the rules and regulations. we have the best government money can buy... :(
Peter Lujan 2
Totally agree, how am I as a FAA Tech Ops Manager, asked to ensure techs have a little more in their step when asking them to respond to a ILS Outage, STARS Automation outage supporting the NAS. How about the return to service of a CAT III approach ILS? 10-15 minutes or 1.5 Hours; sounds like its their call now. NOTAMs will go through the roof. The news said that the unions support this. that's BS! they sure as hell don't! After our techs have been "hit in the gut" with this legislation if it passes, no telling how fast or slow they will respond.
btweston 7
Let's bear in mind that Donald Trump doesn't know anything and has no interest in learning anything. He just says things that he heard somewhere.
jmilleratp -6
Hillary would have been the same. Her whole life is about making money, no matter what the cost is to others. All of our "representatives" are bought and paid for by special interests, corporations, foreign governments, etc.
katty wompus 3
Right. Hillary has dozens of mansions, resorts, airplanes all dripping in gold.

She is always running around flaunting her wealth in front of any camera she can find.
Dave Fisher 3
"Hillary would have been the same."
that may be true but her team would have included sensible people with a desire to make the world a better place rather than team clusterfuck that is now running the show...
lynx318 1
Trump advisers are his business 'know nothing about politics' cronies. Hilary's advisers are actual politicians.
jmilleratp 3
If we do this, we might as well shift our policing, our fire protection, our intelligence services, our military, etc. over to private industry, then sure, let's put the safety of our flying public in the hands of bean counters whose sole purpose is to provide as little service for as possible for what they get paid. No one even thinks of doing something like this unless they're going to get kickbacks from the companies who would take control.
jmilleratp 3
I wish we could edit our comments on here. Especially for when we post before finishing our proofreading! :-)
Highflyer1950 2
Nav Canada manages 12 million aircraft movements a year for 40,000 customers in over 18 million square kilometres, making it the world’s second-largest air navigation service provider (ANSP) by traffic volume.

Nav Canada, which operates independently of any government funding, is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It is only allowed to be funded by publicly traded debt and service charges to aircraft operators.

As a non-share capital corporation, Nav Canada has no shareholders. The company is governed by a 15-member board of directors representing the four stakeholder groups that founded Nav Canada. The four stakeholders elect 10 members as follows:

Stakeholders Seats
Air carriers 4
General and business aviation 1
Federal government 3
Bargaining agents (unions) 2
These 10 directors then elect four independent directors, with no ties to the stakeholder groups. Those 14 directors then appoint the president and chief executive officer who becomes the 15th board member.

This structure ensures that the interests of individual stakeholders do not predominate and no member group could exert undue influence over the remainder of the board.[9] To further ensure that the interests of Nav Canada are served, these board members cannot be active employees or members of airlines, unions, or government.[10]
canuck44 0
One has to assume this article is talking of privatizing all operational aspect of air traffic control not just "oversight" in spite of the headlines and some of the sentences.
NAV Canada has been privatized for two decades without incidence and while they do not deal with the volume of the US System, they handle the Western end of trans-Atlantic traffic and the Eastern end of trans-Pacific flight along with additional traffic along the US/Canadian border.
Two other advantages were not touched in the article which should make all parties rejoice. First of all, the use of a private quasi-government corporation will remove the system from the political winds of "government shutdowns" or job actions.
Secondly, the hiring practices for controllers can be mandated on merit and not used as another social engineering program as political philosophy changes from government to government.
Kenneth Kluge 1
I think you're confusing the funding for the FAA Contract Tower program with FAA funding in general. During periods of a lapse of funding ATCS are deemed essential employees and MUST report to duty. They have to do this even though the folks that process payroll are NOT essential and therefore they have no guarantee of being paid. During a time of budgetary reduction such as sequester ATCS are required to serve furlough days just like everyone else. During the 2013 sequestration special legislation was passed that both funded the Contact Tower Program and also allowed the FAA to move monies between operating accounts. While this negated the furloughs (each ATCS had to serve one day per pay period) this ment the FAA had to move money from one account to another. The end result was a total freeze on hiring and a slow down on modernizing the system as the agency was still required to stay within its reduced budget.

The Trump proposal is not a government asscociated entity of any kind. It is a pure spin off just like the FSSs. The most likely scenario is a modification of last year's proposal made by Ed Schuster (Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act of 2016) to create a post office like corporation to handle ATC. That proposal went nowhere but did include a board of directors that included representatives from airlines, GA, and the pilots and ATC unions.

I believe that no matter what type of company is created protections have to be made for a constant funding stream as well as rules that protect both the workers and the users of the system. It remains to be seen if this will actually take place this year.
canuck44 1
Agree with your last paragraph...doubt it will pass this year with tree big items which will have to be fought through Congress ahead of this, four if Kennedy retires.
Ken Lane -3
Post office, eh?

There are two government entities which may appear on the resume or application which are certain to guarantee their disposal to the round file... USPS and TSA. I shall never hire from either. I've never seen so much incompetence from the top down than my dealings with USPS. Both lack ethics, common sense and the TSA leads government agencies in convictions for crimes while on the job.

I spend $80k a year for USPS services. Everyday I keep hoping they are taken over by FedEx.
Dave Fisher 6
"I spend $80k a year for USPS services. Everyday I keep hoping they are taken over by FedEx."
then watch your postal costs significantly increase...
Ken Lane 1
That's just with USPS. I have to spend another four grand for a third-party insurance carrier BECAUSE of incompetence at the post office.
Kenneth Kluge 0

You have a couple of errors in your post.

ATCS are essential government workers therefore during government shutdowns they are still required to report to work. It's the administrative staff that doesn't show up. The only time ATC is impacted is during full budgetary actions such as sequestration. Even then it's only a reduction in how many ATCS are on shift. If you remember 2013, this does have the ability to affect delays at certain locations dramatically.

The second error is that this is not a proposal to create a quasi government agency. This proposal is a full blown move ATC out of government. This is the same thing the FSSs went through decades ago. The legislation to create this move would have to be very specific in what workers have for rights. Today, it is against the law to strike as a government employee which is not the case in most of private industry.

The effort to spin ATC off from the FAA has been ongoing since 1994 . The thing that always dooms the effort is the attempt to placate everyone involved be it the airlines, the workers, or GA. What the FAA really needs is a constant reliable funding stream so that issues that affect the budget of the US government as a whole do not affect the FAA. It is only with a constant funding stream that the FAA can proceed with full modernization and have a contnuious hiring stream that will allow the US to keep the best ATC system in the world.
canuck44 1
You are partially correct. In the last two shutdowns the ATC had to be authorized separately in both instances when it was hard up against the deadline. They were being used as political pawns when Congress stepped in.

We will not know which corporate option they will choose. They range from outright privatization to the Post Office model. Most likely we will see something in between where government "invests" in capitalization to prevent massive increases in user fees which would be universally unpopular. These can be outright grants, interest free loans or even sale and lease any way I would predict in return they will want a seat at the table.
dbkoob -8
Why was my post on squawk that i made on this a month ago voted down and this one up and why was it not deleted as a duplicate post. Nothing against you Steve if you did not know. But either flightaware needs to get its act together and the voters have to stop being so erratic. Original post-
lynx318 0
Tower to plane, "To land your aircraft please pay service fee with valid credit card now, but wait with every landing you receive a set of Shizu steak knives."
lynx318 0
Tower to plane, "To land your aircraft please pay service fee with valid credit card now, but wait with every landing you receive a set of Shizu steak knives."
lynx318 1
oops double post, button was working too slow.


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