Ashley Burns Flying Magazine
Survey: Most Americans don’t support air traffic control privatization
June 21, 2017
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  • President Donald Trump’s proposal to shift the air traffic control function of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to a private, non-profit entity has not gained strong support across the nation, according to results released Tuesday by CNBC from a quarterly “All America Economic Survey” conducted by Washington D.C.-based public opinion research firm Hart Research Associates.

    The survey had a sample size of 800 individuals, 37 percent who identified themselves as moderate, 34 percent as conservative, and 21 percent as liberal.

    Results showed that 53 percent of respondents said the proposal is a “bad idea,” while 33 percent said it’s a “good idea.”

    “The American people have once again spoken, and they are clear that they believe that putting private, big-airline interests in charge of the air traffic control system is a bad idea,” Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA) CEO Selena Shilad said of the survey results.

    Opponents of the air traffic control privatization proposal fear it could hand over government assets and more power to the airline industry, and small airports and the general aviation industry fear they could become an “aviation afterthought,” the AAAA said earlier this month.

    However, in an editorial for The Hill back in May, Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the modernization would provide a safe and more efficient aviation system, ensure more on-time departures, result in more direct routes and lead to less wasted time on the tarmac.

    And earlier this month, three former chief operating officers of the FAA sent a letter to Shuster expressing support for President Trump’s plan to reform the nation’s air traffic control system.