White House Budget Renews ATC Privatization Call

 - February 12, 2018, 12:42 PM

The White House’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget released today continues the administration’s call to transition the U.S. air traffic control organization from the FAA to a “non-governmental, independent air traffic services cooperative.” In budget documents released today, the White House reiterated arguments that the move would make the system more efficient and innovative.

“[Our] goal is to create a system that can respond to changing air travel demand by deploying cutting-edge technology and giving airlines, general aviation users, and passengers a system that is a good steward of their financial resources,” the White House maintained, noting that it is "similar to successful efforts in many other developed countries." Initial budget documents released suggest a shift in receipts as a result of the ATC proposal could begin in FY2022.

The White House arguments continued to draw fire from NBAA. “NBAA has always supported investments in aviation, including some of those in the president’s budget,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. But, Bolen added, “The idea of handing over the nation’s ATC system to what amounts to an airline cartel…[is] bad policy, which would have a devastating impact on small communities and rural areas, which could see their access to airports and airspace threatened.”