Friday letters: Air traffic control
June 8, 2017
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    Regarding “Trump backs privatizing air traffic control” (Page A1, Tuesday), President Trump’s latest pronouncement on privatization of air traffic control combined with his continuing refusal to fill the government offices that are necessary for a government to function seem to be further steps toward “deconstructing the administrative state” – as promised by his chief strategist Steve Bannon – and “making government small enough to drown it in a bathtub” – as proposed by another small-government Republican proponent, Grover Norquist.

    No administration can deliver safety and security, promote the dignity of its citizens or be respected around the world if it is too small to provide basic services and refuses to fill essential positions of responsibility.

    Certainly these key positions would include U.S. attorneys for the various federal judicial districts, adequate judicial appointments that are necessary for speedy justice and mid-and- upper-level positions in key federal agencies that must be filled or face long-term negative consequences.

    Governments are not businesses to be bought and sold. Relationships matter, and that, perhaps, is one of the most important aspects of good government.

    Infrastructure plan Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in Thursday on Capitol Hill. Comey speaks Officials at regional airports in the area, including Conroe-North Houston, are worried that the proposed privatization of the air-traffic control system would affect staffing and costs. (Photo by Jerry Baker) Friday letters: Air traffic control Houston City Hall in downtown Houston. (File Photo) Friday letters: Local control, Kathy Griffin, warming trends McGee: Pension plan fix is a sign of progress

    Bill Turney, Houston

    Public safety 

    Pesident Trump wants to hand over our air-traffic control system to a private nonprofit corporation run by the airlines and other entities that have an interest in air travel. Aren’t the airlines the same people who brought us (after deregulation): airline consolidation, baggage fees, increased prices, fewer flights to choose from, fewer in-flight services, people trapped in planes on the tarmac, customers getting bumped off flights and terrible treatment of flyers when they question a member of the flight crew? These are just off the top of my head.

    Were not some of the reasons for deregulation increased completion, lower air fairs and better customer service? 

    It is obvious that airlines are primarily concerned with profits, not service. What happens to the flying public when the choice of this nonprofit corporation to handle air traffic control is between customer safety and profits?

    Manuel Castrejana, Houston


    I fail to understand how giving a private company a monopoly over air traffic control could possibly result in cost savings. A private company has to make a profit, so for the same expense, the costs will have to be higher, unless they cut corners somewhere. 

    Usually in privitization that means sticking it to the workers through lower salaries and reduced benefits. There is no magic. You get what you pay for. If you don’t pay, you don’t get. The only magic involved in privitization is making some investors and senior company officers wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.

    Alan Jackson, Houston