I’m compelled to respond to a recent opinion supporting privatization of our nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system. I also voice the virtually unanimous opposition that I’ve found within the active local pilot community to privatizing ATC.
The letter bore a title “FAA move could boost safety,” yet failed to support that position with any facts. The U.S. National Airspace System is the safest, most modern and most efficient in the world. The FAA years ago began modernizing the system through development of the “NextGen” program which is well underway. The writer also states “it will save tax dollars” but provides no facts in support of that belief.
I firmly believe that in most cases private enterprise can and does operate much more efficiently than government, but I also recognize there are certain fundamental infrastructure functions that can fall only to government. Transportation infrastructure, like national defense, must be the purview of government. Our airspace system is a key component of that transportation infrastructure, one which will only grow in importance over coming years. Turning control of that airspace over to the airline companies, as this proposed “privatization” legislation suggests, would be a terrible mistake.
Randy Carmichael, Melbourne Beach