Should air traffic control be privatized?

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Earlier this month President Donald Trump announced his plans to privatize air traffic control.

Trump said by doing this, air travel would be safer and more reliable.

However, one Kansas senator is worried this would cause problems here at home.

“We want to take care of Wichita, Garden City, Manhattan and Kansas City,” said Senator Jerry Moran.

Senator Jerry Moran said if the air traffic control is privatized, those cities would not be taken care of. President Donald Trump, however feels the change is due.

“After billions and billions of tax dollars spent, and the many years of delays we are still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated, horrible system that doesn’t work,” said President Trump.

The administration is proposing to let the FAA focus solely on safety and let a self-funded private non-profit organization oversee flights and route efficiency.

Senator Jerry Moran doesn’t agree with this proposal.

“The thought of privatization is we would transfer the assets of the FAA to a private organization that is run by a 13-person board, and those decisions are then going to be made, in my view, about where to put resources based upon volume,” said Moran.

The senator is concerned the change would mean bigger cities with larger airports would largely be getting more resources, leaving smaller airports out of the mix for funding and potentially hurting the local economy.

“There are many businesses in Kansas who connect with the world because of that local airport and privatization would reduce the chances, viability of those small airports,” added Moran.

President Trump sees it as an opportunity to update air traffic control technology he calls “outdated” and make flights more efficient and at a lesser cost to Americans.

“If we adopt these changes Americans can look forward to cheaper, faster, and safer travel. A future where 20 percent of a ticket price doesn’t go to the government and where you don’t have to sit on a tarmac and circle for hours and hours over an airport,” said President Trump.

Senator Moran said what he would like to see is a re-authorization of FAA for another four years, which is a proposal that he supports right now.

When it comes to the technology he said if it needs to be fixed it should be done without having to privatize air traffic control.

A vote on this issue and bill can be expected by mid-July.