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There's One Thing Both Sides in the Debate Over Privatizing Air Traffic Control Can Agree On

As the House prepares to take up a major overhaul of the air traffic control system, representatives of the aviation industry, labor and government on Wednesday butted heads on the long-debated issue of whether to spin off the system into a private nonprofit (www.govexec.com) Mehr...

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Todd Baldwin 5
I'll go ahead and make the first comment. My personal opinion (I do not work for the FAA or DOT) is that privatizing ATC is not a good idea. One of the reasons for privatization is to end the funding uncertainty. The best way to end that is for Congress to do their job and actually pass a budget on time. To me, in my opinion, ATC is one of those inherently government functions that should remain with the government.
Mike Mohle 2
Agreed. Govt does a lot of things poorly, but US ATC works pretty darn well overall.
joel wiley 1
"They agreed only that Congress’s failure to provide dependable funding for the Federal Aviation Administration ...[is] based on the belief that the status quo is not acceptable."

James Burnley, who was Transportation secretary under President Reagan... the transportation attorney now a partner with Venable LLP
joel wiley 1
oops hit wrong key.
You have Mr. Burnley, who is one of a legion of former administration officials and congress persons working for (shilling may be another term) for the industry they formerly regulated. The argument appears to be a continuation of policy as espoused by Grover Norquist said around 2001 "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." Starve the <select your agency> until a private industry organization can take over and extract value for shareholders and maybe, just maybe, improve services for the affected population.

The ATC situation is simply an example of an ongoing trend.
Todd Baldwin 1
You are absolutely correct. I see the same thing every year in my agency. As September rolls around and there is no budget, we have to start making plans for a funding lapse, at the same time continuing on with our current mission, which is keeps growing, but no, we're not going to let you have additional resources. Then you fail, the higher ups say you can't do your job, and voila, a new contractor is brought in.


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