Mark Russo KELO AM
Another South Dakota Voice in the ATC Debate
September 1, 2017
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  • YANKTON, S.D. ( Yankton Mayor and veteran pilot Jacob Hoffner is dead set against privatizing the nation’s air traffic control system.

    He’s worried about safety in the skies.

    “We have such a refined and good system. You know, if we are going to do this to save money, well, why jeopardize safety.” says Mayor Hoffner, who has been flying for 40 years.

    The Trump Administration supports privatization. A House FAA bill includes the concept. The Senate version does not.

    Hoffner says safety has improved through the years of the current system. If it ain’t broke, why change it, especially as it grows.

    “A system that is so effective and that is proven by the safety record. I mean, we have increasing traffic ..more and more people are using aviation.”

    Hoffner also says South Dakota’s weather challenges and their impact on aviation are better served by the current air traffic control system.

    Supporters of privatization say it will fight wasteful spending. The airlines industry supports privatization.