Just a Few Key Points
September 15, 2017
  • Share

    Your recent editorial (Privatizing Air Traffic Control Should Be on Everyone’s Radar), missed a few key points about the recent debate about so-called air traffic control privatization.

    First, people like to call this proposal privatization, but the only thing worse than a big, lumbering bureaucracy running air traffic control is a big, lumbering, quasi public-private bureaucracy that is controlled by one interest, running air traffic control for their own interest.

    However the biggest issue with this proposal is that it would take the current air traffic control system and put it under the control of the commercial airlines, who have said point blank that they want this so they can drive costs toward their biggest hubs – shockingly, not in South Dakota.

    This is a problem, here in South Dakota. Our farms and small business depend on aviation. It supports flight training, agricultural work, it supports our fire fighting efforts. I don’t believe we should have to pay the airlines and other big corporations to access our airports. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

    South Dakota has 70 airports that are part of our public infrastructure and make sure we stay connected to larger markets and to what we need. Let’s keep it that way.


    Doug Somke

    President, South Dakota Farmers Union