Hero Pilot ‘Sully’ Defends Air Traffic Control From Trump’s Plan to Privatize
August 7, 2017
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  • Back in early June, Donald Trump laid out a plan to overhaul the Federal Aviation Administration. Central to the plan was an outline for privatizing the air traffic control system in America. Just in case that sounds okay to you in any way, a quick economics refresher: “Privatize” means to take away the strict regulations and standards of the government, and turn over operations to a company or companies who are motivated by profit.

    That’s a terrible idea when it comes to safety in the skies over the United States.

    But Republicans, in their quest to elevate capitalism to a form of government, want to attach a profit motive to literally everything that affects American lives. If they had their way, every road you drive on would collect tolls, your children would have only expensive private schools available to them — heck, maybe they’d even turn our military into a mercenary force for hire. “Protecting People As Long As We Get Paid” could be their motto.

    But one former pilot from the U.S. Air Force won’t let that happen if he has anything to say about it.

    Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger — you remember him better as the airline pilot who landed a jumbo jet on the Hudson River in 2009, saving everyone on board — is joining the fight against Trump’s plan to surrender American safety to corporations.

    Partnering with the Alliance for Aviation Across America, Sully lends his familiar voice (and the comforting face that stayed on his downed craft until every last passenger was rescued) to a new video urging viewers to help him oppose Trump’s plan. In the 30-second clip, Sully presents the case for maintaining public control of our airways:

    After 50 years of flying, I know aviation. Lobbyists want to privatize air traffic control, handing control to the largest airlines. Giving them the keys to the kingdom. We can’t trust the people who make your airline seats smaller to run ATC. This would allow a corporate monopoly to make decisions to put profits ahead of safety, and would devastate rural communities. Say “no” to air traffic control privatization, a threat to our nation’s security, safety, access, and basic fairness.”

    Why would America want to turn over control of our airways to those who put cost reductions above anything else?