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Get U.S. air-traffic control out of the 1960s

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn was recently discussing President Trump’s goal of improving America’s infrastructure when he said reforming “air-traffic control is probably the single most exciting thing we [the U.S.] can do.”

The proposal Cohn refers to would modernize the nation’s air-traffic-control system, but has generated debate because it would convert the air-traffic system from today’s taxpayer-funded organization run by the Federal Aviation Administration into a self-funded nonprofit corporation, where all aviation stakeholders — passengers, airlines, airports, controllers and pilots — would be represented on a board of directors.

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Outlet: Orlando Sentinal
Author: Robert Poole
Type: Online
Date: April 18, 2017
Title: Get U.S. air-traffic control out of the 1960s

Airports, Air Traffic Control on Trump’s Infrastructure to-do List

President Donald Trump hosted another gathering of CEOs Tuesday at the White House and improving the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges and airports was on the agenda yet again.

“The U.S. is now 16th in the world in infrastructure, and anybody who goes to our airports or drives on our roads is in close touch that we could do better… our infrastructure is in a very sub-par position, said Blackstone Group Chairman Stephen Schwarzman during an interview on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria,” ahead of the meeting. “This is… not that hard because we know we have a huge, multi-trillion dollar need and it’s just a question of how you finance it.”

Trump’s push to combine private-public infrastructure reform may advance some government proposals already in the works, including a GOP plan to reform America’s ever-aging air traffic control system (ATC).

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Outlet: Fox Business
Author: Matthew Kazin
Type: Online
Date: April 12, 2017
Title: Airports, Air Traffic Control on Trump’s Infrastructure to-do List

A bright idea for modernization in Mr. Trump’s ‘skinny budget’

It would be hard to write a blueprint for federal discretionary spending and not have it include a single worthy idea. Case in point: President Trump’s “skinny budget” includes a lot of penny-wise, pound-foolish budget-cutting ideas — and a smart expression of support for modernizing the nation’s outmoded system of air-traffic control.

Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) runs civilian air-traffic control in the United States, and, by all accounts, the system is safe. There has not been a single fatal accident involving a scheduled airline flight in the United States since 2009. It could be much better, however, and more efficient. The problem has been the FAA’s inability to push through a $35.8 billion program, NextGen, whose goal is to move the agency, belatedly, into the age of digital communications and GPS. The difficulties with NextGen, in turn, reflect the FAA’s reliance on multiple streams of funding, including not only dedicated user fees and taxes but also, in recent years, congressional appropriations. And an agency subject even partly to budgetary politics is an agency at risk of instability, up to and including government shutdowns.

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Outlet: The Washington Post
Type: Online
Date: April 10, 2017
Title: A bright idea for modernization in Mr. Trump’s ‘skinny budget’