Modernizing Air Traffic Control Will Spur Economic Growth


Privitization of the air traffic control system is something that has been considered for some time, but in 2017 we are finally taking steps to modernize the air traffic control system. The current system is very outdated and uses radar to track planes, which will no longer be a reliable method as more planes are added to the system. This is why a new GPS based tracking system is being implemented.

In addition to making things easier for pilots, this new system will help spur economic growth in many areas of the country. With more reliable tracking systems, it will be much easier for airports to expand their flight offerings to include many more destinations with smaller aircrafts. This will result in increased job opportunities at airports across the country, while also making it cheaper and easier for businesses and families to travel to many more places than they are able to today.

There is still some debate over whether this should be run by an independent government agency or a private company, but either way we think this is a huge step forward for air travel in America that needs to happen soon.

On the heels of the most eventful presidential election in American history, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) is about to face his own test of leadership when he introduces legislation to modernize our nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system.

The congressman’s bill will introduce a new, independent non-profit corporation, separate from the Federal Aviation Administration, that would be tasked with managing and operating the ATC system. The bill will ensure no taxpayer dollars are spent on ATC operations and modernization. Instead, the new entity would be funded by user fees paid by airlines and their customers.

Rep. Shuster’s efforts deserve support because this reform will improve safety, enhance efficiency, create jobs and spur economic growth throughout America’s economy.

Shuster has been working on this effort for more than four years. He has held more than 150 meetings with stakeholders like airlines, pilots, labor unions and general aviation groups, as well as members of Congress and administration officials. The result is a thoughtful proposal that has a good chance of passing both the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support in 2017.

The status quo at the FAA is not acceptable. The agency’s modernization program is more than 15 years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget because it lacks effective

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) recently released a study examining the economic impact of privatizing the U.S. air traffic control (ATC) system and moving it out from under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The results were clear: ATC privatization would lead to significant economic growth for American business and individual consumers and create new American jobs.

The NBAA study was conducted by two internationally-recognized economists, John S. Strong of Dartmouth College and Robert W. Poole, Jr., of the Reason Foundation. The study focused on the economic growth that would stem from modernizing the ATC system to take full advantage of existing satellite navigation technology, which is already being used by other countries around the world to improve flight safety, reduce flight delays and cut airline emissions.

The report found that switching to an independent ATC corporation could generate between $13 billion and $20 billion in user fee savings over 10 years, with a total benefit of more than $100 billion during that time period due to reduced delays, improved flight efficiency, reduced fuel burn and lower carbon emissions. These gains are the result of modernization efforts that are currently delayed by government bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., and not because of a lack of funding or resources at the FAA

With an opportunity for significant improvements in the air traffic control system, we need a government that is willing to embrace new technologies and implement them as quickly and efficiently as possible. Congress has not been able to do this on its own, which is why we have introduced the AIRR Act to modernize our nation’s air traffic control system.

With countries around the world investing in new technology to transform their air traffic control systems, we need to ensure that the United States remains on the cutting edge of aviation safety and efficiency. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016 will give us the tools and resources we need to meet that challenge.

We are very excited about this legislation, which will make our skies safer and more efficient, while saving taxpayers billions of dollars over the next decade. We look forward to working with all interested parties as we move this bill through Congress.

The United States needs to modernize our national airspace system. The system we currently have is outdated and overburdened. It cannot keep up with the demand, and it is costing us money.

The U.S. air traffic control (ATC) system lags behind other countries’ systems in incorporating technology to manage air traffic flow efficiently and safely. Because of this, the U.S. ATC system is less efficient than those of many developed nations.

Air travel is a vital part of the United States economy, constituting a more than $1 trillion economic activity annually in economic activity annually and supporting over 10 million jobs.

The United States is on the cusp of a new generation of Air Traffic Management (ATM) technology. At the center of this transformation are new satellites and advanced software that will improve safety, increase capacity, reduce environmental impact, and improve flight efficiency. These investments in satellite-based navigation and air traffic management technologies offer significant benefits for the economy and air travelers alike, reducing delays and improving travel time reliability.

While current ATM infrastructure has enabled great success, it is reaching its limits in terms of capacity. In fact, congestion has become the norm at many major airports across the country. A modernized air traffic control system will help reduce delays by offering more efficient routing options for aircraft. With more options to route around weather or other delays, airlines will be able to save fuel while avoiding unnecessary interruptions.

The modernization of our airspace is critical to sustaining economic growth and creating jobs by boosting productivity within the aviation industry. As America’s gateway to global commerce, these investments can boost U.S. GDP by $86 billion through 2035 while creating an additional 100,000 jobs each year during that span.

The United States lags far behind other industrialized nations in upgrading its air traffic control system. As a result, delays are worsening for passengers and freight shippers, who pay billions of dollars each year for needless waiting time. In aviation, “delay” is defined as the difference between when an airplane was expected to arrive at its destination gate and when it actually arrived.

In 2012, there were 24.7 million minutes of delay in the U.S., nearly double the 13 million minutes of delay recorded in 2002. The problem is getting worse every year, with 4 million more minutes of delay in 2012 than in 2011, according to FAA statistics. The total hours delayed rose from 124,000 in 2002 to 229,000 in 2012.

The cost to U.S. airlines for these delays was about $32 billion between 2007 and 2011, including $5 billion for fuel costs alone, the FAA reported last year. Travelers pay a premium too: Airlines recoup some of their losses by charging higher ticket prices.


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