Donald Trump Looks to Overhaul the FAA by Privatizing Air Traffic Control

President Donald Trump speaks during the Ford's Theatre Annual Gala at the Ford's Theatre in Washington Sunday

What would that mean for air travel?

"At a time when every passenger has GPS technology in their pockets, our air traffic control system still runs on radar and ground-based radio systems that they don't even make anymore, and which they can't even fix anymore". Trump says a major source of frustration and ultimately cost is America's out of date Air Traffic Control System that manages nearly a billion flights per year.

He said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which now tracks air traffic is outdated and inefficient.

2,700 new hire and certified air traffic controllers are training at OKC's Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center each year.

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.

Some aviation insiders say airlines could also pay the user fees and pass that onto consumers. As reported by Bloomberg, groups representing private plane manufacturers have expressed concern smaller airports may be overlooked and see a fall in service.

We hope you will join us in efforts to keep the U.S. National Airspace the safest and most efficient system in the world and available to all aviation stakeholders.

Some in the Republican Party question the legality a private entity charging "taxes" on airline passengers.

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The air traffic controllers' union is generally supportive of the proposal, as it sees the current FAA air traffic control system as somewhat inefficient. And lawmakers are uneasy about giving regulatory authority to a private organization.

Aviation sources say privatization could help with that, but they also urge caution.

Flanked by the current and former secretaries of transportation, Trump stated that the ATC system was designed when far fewer people flew and called it "stuck painfully in the past".

Critics also fear government bureaucracy.

Executives from many commercial airlines, including United, Hawaiian, American and Southwest, were on hand for Trump's announcement and support his privatization plan. They believe a nongovernmental organization would be better suited to handle responsibility of air traffic control because they would have a much easier time cutting through the bureaucratic red tape that the FAA has struggled with in the past.

Tell us what you think.

Now many air traffic control towers are still 360 degree glass boxes which assumes there's need to line of sight to an aircraft as it lands and takes off. Sound off in the comments section below and share your thoughts.

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