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Accountable Governance

Delays in air traffic control upgrades have been the result of unpredictable government funding and unrelenting political fights and bureaucratic dysfunction. A better model creates stability in long-term planning, aids in continuous technological upgrades and ensures that the operation of the air traffic control system is directly accountable to those who fly.

Today’s ATC management is not designed for the labor- and technology-intensive work required to manage the American air space. While government must set safety standards and ensure they are followed, the operation of the ATC system requires independence from the systems—from funding and procurement to workplace flexibility—that were first implemented generations ago.

The Problem: A Political and Bureaucratic Government System

The FAA’s focus on ATC is divided. Because the FAA literally regulates itself, the current system creates unavoidable tradeoffs between safety regulation and operational management. In addition, ATC operations focus on politically driven concerns as it tries to satisfy elected politicians rather than the flying public.

A self-sustaining system, with budget and management independence from the federal government, significantly decreases the potential for political games, arbitrary budget decisions, furloughs and shutdowns.

The Solution: Create Independence, Focus and Long-term Mindset

Our proposal mirrors the structure that dozens of other countries successfully use today. Simply:

  • The FAA retains safety oversight for air navigation.
  • A federally chartered, not-for-profit entity that is directed by an independent board manages the operations and logistics functions currently at the FAA.

The result is an enhanced mission focus and stronger operational resiliency. In addition, a diverse board of stakeholders who have a fiduciary relationship to the new ATC organization will ensure the right decisions are made to move the system forward.

Transferring the air traffic control function to a not-for-profit, self-funding organization provides long-term financial stability that benefits all travelers and shippers. It is the means for continuous, ATC infrastructure and technology upgrades that benefit passengers, shippers and the environment by reducing delays, saving time and money and reducing emissions.

I am for #ModernSkies

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