Trump proposes privatisation of air traffic control operations

15 March 2017 (Last Updated March 15th, 2017 18:30)

US President Donald Trump has proposed the country's air traffic control operations be privatised in his budget plan.

US President Donald Trump has proposed the country's air traffic control operations be privatised in his budget plan.

The budget documents indicate that the oversight of the air traffic control operations will shift from the federal government to a private entity, reported Reuters.

In a meeting with airline executives, the US President is said to have called the country's air traffic control system 'outdated'.

The budget proposed $16.2bn as a discretionary budget for the Department of Transportation for fiscal year 2018, indicating a 13% cut.

"Opponents claim that given the network is so large in the US, privatisation would only increase ticket costs and risks to national security."

Advocates of the proposal believe it will lead to an efficient system with an increased scope for technology improvements.

However, opponents claim that given the network is so large in the US, privatisation would only increase ticket costs and risks to national security.

The proposal has also created concerns that airlines will dominate company boards and restrict access to airports for other smaller players.

According to the industry, FAA’s NextGen programme to modernise air traffic system has resulted in delays, causing many airports to lobby for privatisation.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which represents the FAA’s 14,000 controllers, has also supported privatisation, reported Press Trust of India.