President Trump endorsed a proposal on Monday to privatize air traffic control, seizing on a decades-old idea as proof that he is advancing the ambitious infrastructure rebuilding plan he promised during his campaign but is still months from delivering.
The White House on Monday said the plan would modernise the US system, reducing costs and delays. The idea has circulated in Washington for years without moving forward. But officials say that with Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, it is time to try again.
"We're proposing to take American air travel into the future, finally," Mr Trump said.
“If we adopt these changes, Americans can look forward to cheaper, faster, and safer travel,” Trump said in his announcement to a small group of airline executives and supporters at the White House.
The nation's air traffic control system was designed when far fewer people flew, Trump said, calling it "stuck, painfully, in the past." He also called the system "ancient, broken, antiquated" and "horrible" and said his reforms would make it safer and more reliable.Air Traffic Control.
Privatization of air traffic control is an idea long supported by most of the commercial airlines. Executives from those companies joined the president at the White House to announce the plan.
Guided by legislation that has been proposed in the past by House Transportation Committee chairman Bill Shuster, a private, nonprofit corporation would be created to operate, manage and control air traffic control nationwide, similar to what Canada does. The FAA would still have some oversight capacity, but a board made up mostly of representatives of the major airlines would govern this corporation.
The speech is part of a series of events this week in which Trump aims to highlight his plans to revamp America's roads, bridges and airports. The White House has appeared to make slow progress toward its infrastructure goals as health-care and tax-reform plans move less quickly than Trump anticipated and scandals build up around Trump.