Letters: Don’t Risk the Future
March 2, 2016
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  • Air traffic control

    The Feb. 22 Viewpoint, “Privatize air-traffic control,” overlooked the fact that significant progress is being made to modernize the nation’s federally managed air traffic control (ATC) system and make it even more efficient.

    The U.S. ATC system, operated by the Federal Aviation Administration, is a world leader in air traffic efficiency. According to global airline data ranking the on-time performance at large airports around the world, the U.S. operates 10 of the world’s top 15 on-time airports, significantly outperforming privatized ATC systems such as Canada’s NavCanada.

    The FAA’s $40 billion NextGen modernization effort is also making important progress in implementing programs that will make the world’s best ATC system even more efficient. For example, NextGen technology is allowing controllers to digitally communicate with pilots, which is increasing efficiency by eliminating miscommunication. New NextGen software is also allowing controllers to track almost double the amount of flights as previously possible.

    Privatizing the nation’s air traffic control is a solution in search of problem. Congress should not risk the future of ATC by handing it to an independent and unaccountable organization.

    — Capt. Steve Dickson, senior vice president – flight operations at Delta Air Lines, Atlanta