The Trump administration’s budget proposal supports privatizing the air traffic control functions of the FAA, saying that 60 countries have successfully moved such functions from government to corporate control.
“To accommodate growing air traffic volume and define more efficient flight paths, modern technology is required. However, the FAA must constantly make trade-offs that favor maintaining legacy assets nationwide, rather than investing in cutting-edge technology that other nations use to manage their air traffic. The efficiency of our airspace requires significant investments in rapidly-evolving technology, a challenging proposition for our government,” it says.
In countries that have spun off air traffic control, “air traffic service providers work with private capital markets to modernize technology and facilities in a more iterative way that focuses on driving stakeholder benefits. It is time for the United States to follow suit.”
The budget says it supports a plan similar to one that advanced through the House Transportation Committee last year to shift control over several years, while replacing the current excise tax funding with a fee structure “that allows aviation users to pay the cost of the services to the air navigation service provider.”