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Trump Pushes for Privatization of Air-Traffic Control

President Donald Trump will embrace a longstanding goal of some aviation experts and lawmakers: transferring control of the nation’s air-traffic system to a new nonprofit corporation, which they say would mean a more nimble and cost-effective approach. ( More...

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joel wiley 22
Great. In addition to the checked-bag fee, use-of-overhead-bin fee, mandatory seat-belt fee use-of-cabin-air fee, the carriers will be able to include the ATC-service fee.
djames225 5
Dang joel, you forgot the lavatory usage fee and passed-wind filtration fee
joel wiley 4
In addition to the you loos fee, there is a separate, taxable, flushing surcharge.
Mike Mohle 4
Don't forget the "landing gear cycling surcharge". 2 per flight of course.
djames225 7
If...and this is a HUGEEEEE if, the ATC was run on the same principal of NAV Canada (which is doubtful) then it may work and place money back into tax payers pockets...a number of airlines already incorporate the small NAV Canada fee when they traverse NAV Canada controlled airspace as well as Route charges for Eurocontrol
joel wiley..I have to laugh at your astute comment..i heard recently carriers are seriously looking at not only charging the checked baggage fee, but a fee for a carryon as well!long before all of these "fees" were added to a ticket price,i worked for the then continental airlines (proud bird with the golden tail),and we had 3 differing colors of boarding passes,gold blue and red-no computer issued bp's but stickers on a real paper boarding pass!red ones being called the "chickenfeed fares),and the red boarding passes were always given seats in the back of the airplane with blue in the middle and front of coach!of course then we did not have baggage fees, etcetera,just first class( gold boarding passes),coach and economy!!!simpler times,cheaper fares,more friendly people,larger overhead bins,free meal service,a bit more legroom,,even in econonmy and a lot less hassle to fly..i agree wholeheartedly with your comment!
Scott Campbell 10
Want to see how privatization over federal works - look at... for profit prisons , or

Non-profit over private healthcare. Horrible idea unless you have your own 57 then it works !
Sam Johnson 19
What constitutes a nonprofit company? It's easy. Calculate the expected profit and give yourself a bonus so there is no profit. It seems too easy to overcharge every pilot who flys and give it to yourself for doing such a good job. Nonprofit can be a gold mine for the powers that be. What BS this will turn into.
layman85 3
Agree wholeheartedly. There are for-profits that make money and lose money, and there are non-profits that do the same. Its a tax designation- nothing more.
Daniel White 2
Wrong. Non-profits have prescription for what happens to the profit. Also if it's an NGO it might have to kick profit back to the govt or reduce prices.
Ron Nash 2
As the accountant said to the business owner - "How much profit do you want to show this year?"
You can do anything with numbers on paper.
The list of corporate rorts, scams, and outright thievery is endless - starting from the Big Banks and Enron, and going through to Bernie Madoff.
Once you hand a vital transport operation with national importance over to a corporation, you are setting the scene for greed, and more greed, backed by that total lack of ethics and morals, which is the outstanding feature of the corporate world.
AND ... Non-profits are audited yearly.
Brian James 14
I'm not seeing any of what Agent Orange is calling broken, unreliable or broken. Planes go up they fly and they come down for the most part, safely. While the system must be old and probably needs replacing, that's not an excuse to privatize it. The real reason he wants this is because he's met with airline corporate heads, and THEY want it because the billions in profits they are making don't seem to be enough.
It turns out we might all be jumping the gun, as this whole thing is just a suggestion.
gilgraham 2
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. How much does it cost to use ATC in Canada? How many will scud run or not file, or otherwise cut corners in order to avoid fees?
Marc Bechtol 2
He loses me at non-profit.
smagnuso 5
Call me skeptical...When has Trump ever done anything that wasn't for profit.
Lois Lettini 3
That is ALL he knows!!
Randy Marco 5
Actually he doesn't understand profit as he is a terrible businessman, he has declared bankruptcy SIX times.

He couldn't even make money in the casino business.

If he had taken his inheritance from his father and done nothing but put it in a conservative stock fund he'd have more than money he purported has by reputable sources (not him) which is under a billion.

He ONLY makes money by cheating people, not paying his debts and has sued over 3500 people to settle his debts. American banks won't loan him a dime that's why he had no choice but to become involved with and obligated to the Russian's.
joel wiley 4
On a more serious note, the Congressional Research Office released a 38 page report on the subject in May which can be found here:

For some reason I don't think Mr. Trump read it through.
Dan Dassow 4

This is a free version of the report:

Trump's staff would have to convert the report into a picture book for Trump to read the report.
joel wiley 1
Thanks, I found several links after reading it. Picked that one as it seemed reputable- didn't notice it was fee based.

It is unfortunate that we taxpayers do not have access to the reports from the Congressional Research Office. If you want something, you are expected to ask your 'representative'.
Dan Dassow 1

Thanks again for mentioning the report. I downloaded a copy and found it informative.

It looks like the Naval Post Graduate School is a free source for Congressional Research Office reports.
William Baker; He's not trying to get it out of GOV hands just so he and the 1% Fellow Billionaires can Land/Take Off first. He's doing this so they can make more money and become Trillionaires. Follow the money? I wonder what it would be like for an ATC working in the private sector without a GOV watchdog?
joel wiley 2
The to 1% controls approximately 33% of the wealth and 20% of the income of the US. The goal of the Trump administration is simply to double these figures by 2020. That's all.

Replying to Mr. Baker's post would keep the thread together.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

joel wiley 3
If everyone flew for free, from whence would come the revenue to pay for things like fuel, salaries, maintenance, a/c mortgage payments? Your post would be better if "usual." were rewritten "usual:" making 1st sentence an introductory clause.
Steve Sladoje -2
"If every one [received free healthcare], from whence would come the revenue to pay for things like [hospital utilities, salaries, medical facility maintenance, a/c mortgage payments]? I think you're getting it!
joel wiley 8
Are you shifting from Mr. Tripp's concept that the only thing you'd pay for on a flight was drinks to the single payer health care concept, which is no more 'free' than Social Security. If so, then the commonality of Mr. Tripp's and your concepts is the lack of real world grounding.
Bill Kashouty 4
On the surface it sounds like a good idea for all the reasons he enumerated in his speech today.

My fear is that it will cost General Aviation a lot of money to fly in the US. I believe GA will get charged for all the services they use. And if they opt to NOT use the ATC services-it will make the skies even more unsafe!

Everyone out there flying without ATC knowing they are there or who they are or what frequency they are on, etc, etc, etc!

That's my thought-I just hope I'm wrong.
Highflyer1950 1
However, everyone, pays for general aviation now, as opposed to the people who actually own and fly airplanes. There is no free lunch, someone always pays.
Mario Brumini 2
If it seems a good idea to have badly paid controllers and absurd shifts ...
Mario Brumini 3
sorry but I'm italian, we have bad experience about public to private. for me pubblic is = a lot of ppl make small job but at end good job, private = less ppl at job and terrible work done because lot of extra hours and small amount of money. so if we speak about "school clean" is more o less ok.. here we speak about life of ppl...
Lois Lettini 1
Very well put!! I could not have said it better. Thank You!
aviswest 2
MMMM.... Now would the ATC be Run as the USPS is run now? Interesting!
gilgraham 2
Privatization is great if it invites competition. But we only have one sky and one ATC. If the service is bad in this case, there's nowhere else to go. I'm very skeptical.
Ron Nash 2
Non-profit corporation?? That'd be kept in the same field as the unicorns?
Using the words "non-profit" and "corporation" in the same sentence, has to rate as the oxymoron of the century.
The new Trump Air Traffic Control system would soon become operated by the lowest bidder, based in a foreign tax haven, with outsourcing to 3rd world employees, aimed at keeping "costs down" - and keeping multi-million dollar CEO bonuses, up.
Naturally, the English language will be abandoned as the language of ATC - everyone in the aviation system will be allowed to use the language they're most familiar with.
Of course, there will be a fee for demanding that your ATC respondent be English-speaking.
The language problem will be the least of the new privatised systems problems.
djames225 1
WOW...there must be a heck of a lot of unicorn fields in Canada...funny thing is thou, I have never seen 1.
Pleewilk 0
Amen Ron!
Roger Parish 1
The source of the problem with flight delays (non-weather related) is not "antiquated" equipment but rather a shortage of concrete; i.e., runways to land upon. Even if NextGen were fully implemented today, and it worked flawlessly (never a guarantee), it won't help land more flights than the airport can accept. What is needed is a system that will land the same number of airplanes when the ceiling is 200 feet and vis is ½ mile as can land in CAVU.
John Kliewer 4
Lack of system redundancies, refusal to stagger arrivals and departures, not considering passengers to be customers, each airline dominating their own hubs having consolidated into a mere handful of companies which no longer need to compete - these are the real sources of the problem.

Take this from a part 91 corporate pilot who has spent much of his career airlining to and from the boss's airplane observing first hand the evolution from world class airline travel to the shoddy excuse for airlines that these few companies now represent. Lack of concrete and a federal ATC system in lieu of a privatized ATC are invalid excuses which demonstrate the industry's ability to pull wool over eyes. Sorry but this all screams louder to me every time I have to fly American, Delta, United, ... ... ... into and out of DFW, ATL, DEN, EWR, MSP, ... ... ...
Matt Jensen, aren't a lot of those tax dollars being used to implement NextGen? I'm not in the industry, just an avid watcher, so I am not sure.
Steve Aliamus 1
This same topic was published in a squawk 10 days ago:

Not sure if the FlightAware moderator can combine the two sets of responses...
Steve, MH370 just posted the same thing this morning. This waste of space and time happens all the time.
dbkoob 1
I posted the same topic 2 months age
djames225 1
I thought so too..yours only had 1 comment and a negative 6 rating
Steve Aliamus 1
Looks like the Democrats responded to Trump with the Aviation Funding Stability Act:
joel wiley 1
Had they done that a couple decades ago to stabilize the funding, NextGen might be further along. It is hard to plan strategically out 5 -10 years with a 4 year election cycle.
ilkleymoor 1
Take off fees and landing fees? What a great way to make some real money.
Highflyer1950 2
Takeoffs are free it's the landings that coast!
Highflyer1950 2
oops, "cost"
Mehdi Abkadri 1
great not geve
glang3 1
Big airline money trying to control the conversation again. This is where we must place our faith in groups like NBAA, AOPA, GAMA and also the GA caucus in DC, among others.
Will Butcher 1
This is a monumentally stupid idea, being proposed only so some one can make money from a service that now runs as a public utility!
matt jensen 0
If it gets the ATC into the 21st century, I'm all for it. New equipment will help a lot more than dumping tax dollars into an antiquated system.
Pa Thomas 18
I hope you get rid of your antiquated microwave in your kitchen. That's 1950 technology.

ATC equipment is not "antiquated." If I showed you the 1972 tower I started in and compared it to the 2006 tower I retired from, you wouldn't say "antiquated".
matt jensen 3
It's not as good as our NavCan system!
matt jensen 1
After 81 debacle courtesy of the Reagan admin - did you continue to work?
bbabis 8
Using the catch phrase "antiquated system" is just talking points from the pro privatization crowd. Anything to get sheep to say "yeah, we need that." The glorious NAV Canada that is spoken so highly of uses the same system. They pulled one over and now everything is the same, you just have to pay extra to use it and GA has been forced to the back of the bus.
djames225 3
Uses the same system? extra to use it?..ok Im lost
bbabis 0
Nav Canada was created 20 years ago using the same false pretenses as today. In that time, taxes have not gone down, user fees were instituted and increased, and they use the same "antiquated system as before. There has been no enlightenment of technology as was promised, just more fees for the same old same old.
djames225 2
NAV Canada took over/privatized ATC operations in 1996 from Transport Canada...If you think our system is antiquated, you best do more research. Taxes never spiked or increased either as a result of having to bear the burden of ATC control..fuel tax is a debated issue very much ongoing with the federal and provincial governments, not just at aviation level (yes we get "ticked" with our MP's and MPP's and please dont get me started on Wynne)...perhaps, too, you might wonder how it is that a great many aircraft and tower control operations worldwide have integrated NAV Canada hardware and software into their systems and that Aireon Systems and NAV Canada have teamed up to increase global ADS-B via satellite tracking (which should be fully implimented in 2018)...btw, NAV Canada ATC fees are decreasing, again, this year as a result of a black book balance in the fees regulation account...will the US do this?...doubtful.
So please, "research" first when comparing apples to oranges...btw...we don't use "paper trails" in the towers anymore either.
matt jensen 1
Exactly - totally self sufficient. The USofA will fail before it turns a profit on any dept.
Mike Mohle -1
A couple of months after flying into or out of, or sometimes over, Canada, you get a bill with some line items for ATC services, even though you bought fuel while there, etc. Will the Fuel Tax that currently funds US ATC and infrastructure (a true user fee, by those actually using the system and does not require an entire A/R department) now go away? I doubt it.
djames225 4
NAV Canada is private and does not receive any "fuel tax" money...and the FAA is also susidized via other taxes and fees aka AATF...and dont forget...most of the Northern Atlantic travel corridor is watched over by NAV Canada (Gander ACC)
With oversight and needed control by the government, it just means more money all around,
with less real security, as a country still at war bad choice
william baker -3
Are you sure this isn't just a way for him to get it out of government hands so he and his fellow billionaire can get to land and take off first from any airport. Because as of now it's first come first serve and trump hates it. He thinks is I'm rich so I come before anybody else. That's just my opinion of course thou.
yatesd 0
I believe that is exactly the case. It has worked so well for the US Postal Service!
anytime republicans are in control in the political spectrum, they throw out the idea of privitizeing just about everything the government handles,controls or is responsible for,whether it is good for the economy and the citizens or not...from my knowledge, non profit organizations are subsidized by donations from groups,other orgnizations or indviduals who wish to donate..would not landing fees have to increase or change,and then I would think major carriers would literally have to "bid" for whomever gets the best landing times and slots,(that is the way big business works) if it is a "non profit" ,a carrier willing to "donate" the most would be given preference?? what about the smaller airports and private aviation?..just my thoughts...and trump says this will speed up landings and departures and avoid tarmac delays?? I guess he has forgotten about snow storms and severe weather issues all carriers and pilots and passengers face periodically...

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

joel wiley 5
I am sure it's a personal tragedy that you "Don't get enough free stuff" as it appears the world owes it to you. Sadly, the world will stiff you and you have to work hard to get what it should have given you for free.
Ben Ryan 1
A lot of people like to compare the privatisation of ATC in the U.S. to NavCanada but fail to mention (either unknowingly or, in the case of Trump, due to the likelihood that his idea would have less merit, purposefully) that NavCanada handles 12 million flights per year (domestic, not counting oceanic) while the FAA handles upwards of 80 million flights per year, in approximately the same area (~10 million km²) as well. Privatisation tends to work in scale, and messing with something this large that works, especially when "messing" with it involves huge incentives to cut corners at every possible turn, is an antithesis to the safety of the current system.
djames225 3
I am curious where you obtained 80 million flights per year??
Mandy Porter -2
NATCA stated an average of 64 million takeoff and landing operations per year in 2010.
joel wiley 2

Flights 2016 49,658,836
Handled by Centers: 43,415,604
One can run reports for one's self.
djames225 4
Thks joel but I was hoping the original commenter would comment as I knew 80 mil flights was out of whack...
Highflyer1950 -1
Whether it is 12 million or 65 million flights handled, the process is the same. It's about everyone performing a job to a certain base level that makes any system work, big or small.
djames225 3
Actually, Highflyer, reason I flagged it is NAV Canada now handles about 14.9 million flights a year, not including the North Atlantic oceanic corridor (Gander ACC which hands off to UK/Eurocontrol just past Iceland) or the great Arctic circle route...and we do it with about 2k controllers, not 14k...remember equipment and organization, can do a lot to help both the controllers and the aircraft they are watching out for.
neache 1
Trump has been critical in the past of the FAA and air traffic control, saying his personal pilot has complained about how out of date and inefficient the agency is.

I am really laughing over this comment one pilot's opinion and this IDIOT I call him a ID 10<ten> T Error ( ID 10 T Error... )wants to privatize OMG help us .. good luck ladies and gentlemen, I quit flying in 1981 when the real Professionals were all terminated for life ... remember that .. ?
neache 1
I certainly do remember that it ended my 19 years as a professional air traffic controller and took away my right to work damn near everywhere that a company had govt contracts with, Ie sweeping the floor with Martin Marietta in Denver. I'm still here.. however and that rat bastard that wanted and did destroy unions in the US is not...
Randy Marco 1
All one needs to know is, NO Repugnant plan is EVER going to be of benefit for anybody but for those making over a minimum of $500,000 a year or for those wanting to have a religious based talibani style government.

Not only would our forefathers would be horrified as to what we've become but also those Republicans of not so long ago like Eisenhower. Even W is horrified and he rode the short bus to school. It a sad state of affairs where it's become acceptable for our President to lie on a daily basis all while he and his family are openly profiteering off the highest office of the land and when the highest rated cable "news" network feeds the sheeple with a continuous stream of lies and false conspiracies ALL in the name of CORPORATE PROFIT!!

If you fail to realize any of the foregoing you are hopelessly ignorant and blissfully working against yourself. Therefore having ACTUAL discussions and not outrage about whether privatizing ATC is a good idea is patently absurd!
alma tonini 1
Una locura mas de ese hombre peligroso. Reagan lo hizo porque hicieron una huelga. Y hubo un accidente de avion, se acuerdan.?
neache 0
I know lets fire all the current controllers as was done in 1981 and hire 5.00 an hour scabs feel safe yet... by privatizing there will be no union as they have today, the replacement of the PATCO professionals in 1981,they were allowed a organization by promising we will never strike against the US GOV .. the beginning of the end of organized labor in the US that has worked well for the American worker hasn't it, thank you Reagan...Trumps hero.. hope it works out well for the flying public... I don't think It will Do You >?
Jim DeTour 0
Fee structures for commercial airlines to arrive on time.
Civilian aircraft filing fees.
Nav aid lands handed over to private companies in prime cell and broadcast tower locations.
Government offices and computer systems hand overs.
Looks like a good place for Madoff as a CEO after his pardon.
Highflyer1950 4
So as a question, where do you think all the hardware, software and teaching programs come from? The government makes nothing, developes nothing and teaches nothing. It all came from the private sector that the government paid for. The government is the people, it's just absurd stupidity of the government employees that inhibits success!
Bryan Jensen 0
No privatization, no user fees. It would destroy General Aviation which is crucial to the economic well being of our country.
djames225 1
You folks are already stocked up on "user fees" but you don't see them...I did a breakdown of a flight to the US "user fees"..I have to pay 3 security fees, the CBP fee (which I thought was included in 1 of the security fees), US transportation tax, US passenger facilitation charge and an APHIS user fee(even thou no pets are on the flight)...Be interesting ti see where all those "user fees" are going and why.
Ramer 0
Quite simply, it unloads Federal bureaucracy off taxpayers and transfers costs to User Fees. Every user will get caught up in the associated costs. So, the argument is -- Should ONLY Users pay OR should it be a taxpayer funded public benefit. Now, that is a real Left/Right issue. Maybe we draw a line down the middle. User supported and publicly subsidized to some extent.
joel wiley 1
According to the CRO paper, 2/3 of the funding comes from fees, fuel taxes, and taxes on tickets. The other 1/3 presumably comes from the Federal budget. Users are already caught in fees etc. I would think some of the aviation infrastructure funding come from the Federal budget. What part is left to the wisdom of Salomon.
Dave Bell 0
I remember when we privatized the truckers and what a mess that was. Now we want to privatize the ATC. At least the current ATC has rules in place that make sure the ATC agents are rested and are not falling asleep at the wheel or looking planes. At present, there are fees for everything, checked baggage, carry on, and pretty soon there may be a fee for the small seat we sit in for hours. God help us if this is passed.
Marc Bechtol -1
If they went to a truly private system, I would be in favor of it. I don't see anything free of government control here.
mikeenderle 0
If this comes with a MASSIVE tax break, I'm game. If this is going to give the military another blank check, screw that. I feel like disbanding the TSA nightmare takes priority over this.
kevanski1 0
Since Nav Canada is doing such a fine job in Trump's pilots opinion, why not put Nav Canada in charge of Canada and the United States instead of re-inventing the wheel. It's the same group of airlines on that corporate board plus General Aviation and government reps. etc. That would solve a lot of co-ordination issues.
Mark LaFlamme -3
Non-commercial users Do Not Pay.....!!!!


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