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Answer:

To remain the world leader in aviation, the U.S. must operate the safest, most efficient air traffic system. To do this, our nation requires predictable and sustainable funding to modernize air traffic control to match growing demand and advances in technology.  Smarter decision making and reliable funding--that is not tethered to complex and unpredictable federal procurement and appropriations processes--will modernize our air traffic control system faster and more cost-effectively. Consumers, the economy, and all airspace users stand to benefit from a system that delivers more flight choices, fewer delays and lower operating costs. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is best at ensuring aviation safety, not system efficiency, so a federally chartered, non-government cooperative is needed to manage a high-tech service operation such as our air traffic control system. This new entity would leverage private sector financing tools with technological agility and ingenuity to speed up advances in aviation technology.  This concept, already in practice by more than 50 countries worldwide, would deliver a safer, more efficient national airspace system, and assure the U.S. remains the gold standard for aviation around the world.

Answer:

A new air traffic entity will have no direct impact on the price of air travel.  Ticket prices are driven by demand and competition.  We also know that demand for air travel services will continue to rise. The ATC proposal includes a governing board representing all aviation stakeholders. The new entity will charge system users, not passengers. This approach eliminates most ticket taxes. In Canada, where they use a similar model, air traffic user charges are 30 percent lower than the government taxes they replaced 20 years ago.

Consumers and other airspace users, however, will stand to benefit from a more modern system. Reduced flight delays and cancellations as well as more flight options should save time and money.  All of the air traffic operations that are performed today by the FAA will transfer to the non-profit organization.

Answer:

Sound business practices, operational excellence and advanced technology are all scalable.  Although the U.S. operates the largest air traffic control system, it is already scaled from an operational perspective. 

The goal is not to take the Canadian ATC system and transplant it to serve the needs of the U.S. ATC system.  The goal is to fundamentally reform the ATC system with uniquely American governance and financing structures to ensure its long-term financial health, safety and to secure America’s role as the global leader in aviation. 

Moreover, separating air traffic control operations from safety oversight is an internationally recommended and widely adopted best practice. Canada is not alone; more than 50 countries have reformed their air traffic control systems with proven results. The U.S. can build on the existing decades’ long experience of Canada and many other countries.

Answer:

System-wide efficiencies will improve the customer experience by providing more direct flights, shorter routes, and fewer delays and cancellations. It will stabilize funding for Air Traffic Control (ATC) operations and provide a reliable way to pay for implementation of new, advanced technologies. Efficiency from a modernized ATC system will also generate lower operating costs for all users through lower fuel use and more, direct routing.

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The stop and go approach of the annual appropriations process with the political overlay and sequester is not conducive to responsible long-term planning. A large, complex federal government agency and an unpredictable appropriations process will, at best, only deliver sporadic and incremental change. 

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The solution is to remove federal budgetary uncertainty from air traffic operations funding which will allow us to modernize and ensure the system can’t be interrupted by fiscal impasses. 

The federal appropriations process does not allow for the strategic, long-term, capital investment planning required to run a world-class air traffic control operation.  A non-governmental cooperative would have a predictable funding stream and access to private capital, giving it the ability to accelerate technical innovation.  

Answer:

After safety, aviation noise is still the number one Air Traffic Control (ATC) issue of concern for most Americans. The new entity will be required to coordinate all changes to flight tracks around airports with local communities, just as the FAA does today. FAA will retain oversight authority over adherence to the requirements of the National Environment Policy Act as they pertain to airspace changes.

Answer:

Claims that this proposal will devastate rural and general aviation are unfounded.  The Adminsitration’s principles include a number of protections to ensure the viability of our nation’s vital General Aviation sector and its access to rural communities. Also, at the May 18, 2017, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee hearing, Chairman Shuster committed to strengthen the protections for rural communities to address this very concern.  

Some in the corporate jet community wrongly assert that passenger carriers will control governance of the new entity. Dilution of passenger carrier representation on the Board of Directors is addressed in the White House principles. The Administration supports legislation that specifically prohibits the new air traffic organization from restricting airspace access in any way.  General Aviation operators would be guided through the national airspace by controllers operating under the same rules that apply today – with safety as their first priority.

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