As the Trump Administration released its budget outline today, the nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU) welcomed the blueprint's vision for air traffic control reform as another sign that the idea of a user-funded, customer-centric system is gaining momentum in Washington. NTU President Pete Sepp offered the following statement in reaction to the Administration's announcement.
"America's air traffic control system needs a major course correction, and the Trump Administration's budget will be a big help to set the right heading. Ever since President Clinton recommended separating the traffic control function of the FAA into a user-funded entity capable of more diligent management, the flying public has been waiting for American aviation policy to catch up with the rest of the world ... and, more recently, the 21st Century. Recent Inspector General reports have demonstrated that the FAA's perennially troubled NextGen program is inadequate to deliver on a vision of an air traffic control network that is technologically advanced, operationally nimble, and fiscally responsible. A user-funded and user-governed model is the way forward, and the Trump Administration has earned a round of applause for proposing to rescue overburdened taxpayers from the current unsustainable structure.
House Transportation Committee Chairman Shuster's air traffic control modernization plan from 2016 should provide a starting point for this Congress to resume its own efforts. Although final details and refinements must still be settled, hopefully the momentum from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue will finally push this long-overdue reform toward enactment. The American people are ready for take-off."
Read more about NTU's work on air traffic control reform, including an NTU-led coalition letter, here. Additional commentary on other portions of the President's budget blueprint is available at ntu.org.