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Air Traffic Control — America’s biggest infrastructure project

Our nation’s current air traffic control (ATC) system is operating on technology from the 1960s. Aging radars still slowly sweep to determine the location of aircraft. Controllers use scraps of paper to keep track of planes. And, aircraft radios still use old-fashion knobs and dials.

The country is spending far more than necessary for fuel because of the age-old way planes are routed across the country. In some cases, they fly zig-zagging along corridors that were created when bonfires were lit to let pilots see the next destination on a cross-country journey. Only a few years ago the air traffic controllers were sourcing vacuum tubes from the Czech Republic because no company in the USA manufactured them.

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Outlet: Travelers United
Author: Charlie Leocha
Type: Online
Date: March 16, 2017
Title: Air Traffic Control — America’s biggest infrastructure project
Link: https://travelersunited.org/policy-columns/air-traffic-control-americas-biggest-infrastructure-project/

FAA spending $36 billion to upgrade air traffic control system

The Federal Aviation Administration is in the midst of a planned $36 billion modernization of the nation’s air-traffic control system. Begun in 2003, the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, has received about $7.4 billion in funding from Congress so far.

These monies, along with ongoing support for airport operations and other safety programs, translate to $4 billion to $5 billion in annual FAA contract obligations, according to Bloomberg Government’s contract database.

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Outlet: Bloomberg
Author: Paul Murphy
Type: Online
Date: March 14, 2017
Title: FAA spending $36 billion to upgrade air traffic control system
Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/professional/blog/faa-spending-36-billion-upgrade-air-traffic-control-system/

Right and Wrong on Air Traffic Control Reform

Yesterday, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) sent a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members raising a number of objections to Chairman Bill Shuster’s plan to corporatize the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Air Traffic Organization. The Shuster plan would spin off air traffic control into an independent nonprofit corporation governed by aviation stakeholders, and the newly minted ATC Corporation would then charge cost-based user fees to support operations and investments.

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Outlet: Competitive Enterprise Institute
Author: Marc Scribner
Type: Online
Date: March 8, 2017
Title: Right and Wrong on Air Traffic Control Reform
Link: https://cei.org/blog/right-and-wrong-air-traffic-control-reform

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