President Trump proposes privatizing air traffic control

Posted: Updated:
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -

President Donald Trump announced Monday plans to privatize the country's air traffic control system.

The proposed private entity would be a self-financed nonprofit and would not require taxpayer money.

The privatized traffic control board would be made up of airline officials and union members.

This plan is expected to face hurdles in Congress from both major parties. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi criticized the plan, saying it hands control of one of the most important public assets to special interests and big airlines.

Travelers at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, had a mixed reaction shortly after the president's announcement.

Some worried that air traffic control is too important to rely on a private company that may have lax safety standards. Others said the government is in charge of too many things and welcomed the change.

Under the president's plan, the Federal Aviation Administration would spin off responsibility for air traffic control to a private company.

Trump says his plan would reduce delays, bring down costs and make traveling safer.

The private overseer would also have "the best equipment anywhere in the world," the president said when announcing the move. During his announcement, he was flanked by several members of the air traffic controllers' union, indicating that some members do support the proposal.

But in February, Delta Airlines criticized the idea of privatizing air traffic control after it released a study showing a 29 percent increase in costs for customers.

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