White House Budget Includes Privatized ATC Proposal

Aviation groups criticized the plan, which would cut FAA funding and spin off ATC within five years.

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President Trump conducted a video conference with NASA astronauts Commander Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer aboard the International Space Station, from the Oval Office in April.White House

The White House budget released on Tuesday includes a plan to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system, a revelation that drew rebukes from two aviation industry associations.

“With this budget, the president has made clear his administration’s plan to pursue a concept that has raised a host of concerns, not just among aviation stakeholders, but also among congressional lawmakers from both political parties, mayors from across the country, organizations from the political left and right, consumer groups and a majority of Americans,” said National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen.

The National Air Transport Association also voiced its concern about the proposal, saying the proposal would cut funding for ATC modernization.

“We cannot make the justification for ATC privatization a self-fulfilling prophecy by making cuts to important programs that need immediate funding,” said NATA President Martin Hiller. “The proposed FAA budget would reduce spending on the modernization of our air traffic control system and continue what has been a six-year downward spiral in airport funding.”

The Trump Administration budget would reduce FAA funding by $300 million for the fiscal year beginning October 1 and calls for the creation of a separate air traffic control corporation beginning in fiscal year 2021.