Nine top aviation experts from the Reason Foundation — including a former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, a former Federal Aviation Administration Administrator, and the architect of airline deregulation — are ordering major changes to the nation’s air traffic control system. These professionals addressed these issues, because “Congress has not realistically addressed” the reforms needed to successfully redesign a higher-capacity air traffic control system to eradicate the current, record-setting airline delays.
According to the Reason Foundation, the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization “is not up to the task of making the kind of paradigm shift” needed to modernize the nation’s air traffic system with 21st-century GPS and automation. They are calling for four broad reforms:
- The Air Traffic Organization (ATO) should run like a business, with a CEO who hires and fires staff and holds them accountable for results. It should also have a board of directors to represent its customers and other stakeholders.
- To improve safety and liability, the ATO and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should be independent entities. The experts warn that without serious reforms, the U.S. will be forced to ration its airspace, resulting in considerably fewer flights and significantly higher ticket prices. As is the “global standard”, the FAA should regulate the ATO’s safety on an arm’s length basis, more clearly forming the many needed decisions regarding safety and capacity in the new system.
- The ATO should be apolitical and funded directly by airlines, business jets, and private pilots, with federal general fund support limited to public-service functions.
- In the interests of its customers, the ATO should be allowed to consolidate, reorganize, and improve its facilities and equipment, and reconfigure airspace consistent with NextGen capabilities.
For more information, see the Reason Foundation’s official press release.