Trump Budget Calls For Privatized ATC
President Trump’s budget plan was released on Monday, including a proposal to privatize the air traffic control system, and aviation advocates were quick to respond. “The idea of handing over the nation’s ATC system to what amounts to an airline cartel … is bad policy,” said NBAA President Ed Bolen. AOPA said the proposal doesn’t have much support. “After nearly two years, proponents of turning the ATC system over to a 13-member board have failed to move the proposal forward because of a lack of votes,” AOPA said on Monday. Bloomberg News also said the “largely symbolic” proposal doesn’t stand much chance of becoming reality, “given strong bipartisan opposition in Congress.”
The New York Times agreed, noting that “presidential budgets are little more than vision statements even under normal circumstances, given that Congress controls the federal purse strings and may disregard the wishes of whomever is sitting in the Oval Office.” The current FAA budget is set to expire on March 31. It’s up to Congress to decide before then if they will provide another short-term fix or agree on a plan to provide longer-term funding for the agency.