In an attempt to streamline the government and make aviation operations far more efficient, President Donald Trump formally endorsed a plan Monday to essentially privatize America’s air control traffic system.
Designed “to remove air traffic control from the vagaries of the government budget process, which has limited the Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to commit to long-term contracts and raise money for major expenditures,” the plan would place FAA-administered airport towers/tracking centers and FAA employees under the control of a private, nonprofit corporation, according to the Associated Press via Forbes magazine.
“The current (aviation) system cannot keep up — has not been able to keep up for many years,” the president said during a White House ceremony. “We’re still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated, horrible system that doesn’t work.”
He was correct. The budget process mentioned by Forbes has prevented the FAA from modernizing its air traffic control system by upgrading “from radar and radio communications to GPS surveillance and digital voice and text communications.”
And whenever government shutdowns occur — the last one happened four years ago under the Obama administration — problems at the FAA only grow worse.
What’s interesting is that while ranking House Democrats reportedly oppose privatizing the nation’s air traffic control system, the administration of former Democrat President Bill Clinton proposed the same idea two decades ago. Moreover, it was around this time in the 90s that the United States’ far-left neighbors in Canada went ahead and privatized their own system.
Clearly, there’s a legitimate, non-political argument to be made in favor of privatizing these operations — so why then do so many contemporary Democrats oppose it? ABC News explained pithily explained why: “The debate boils down to the quintessential debate of big versus small government between Republicans and Democrats.”
Bingo. Democrats prefer to keep America’s air control traffic system trapped by the sluggishly grinding cogwheels of Big Daddy Government, whereas Trump desires that the system be placed under the auspices of a private, free-market-based nonprofit where it could truly thrive.
To be fair, genuine arguments against the privatization of these operations exist. As noted by ABC News, some in the aviation community worry that major airlines would hold “the most power” in the aforementioned corporation.