Trump derides America’s air traffic control systems as ‘antiquated’, announces modernisation measures

US President Donald Trump announced modernisation of the country's 'outdated' air traffic control technology to help reduce wait time, increase route efficiency and safety and ensure fewer delays.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 6, 2017 10:18 am
Donald Trump, Aviation, Air Traffic Control, Air safety US President Donald Trump signs principles of proposed reforms to the air traffic control system during an event at the White House in Washington, DC, U.S. June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

US President Donald Trump announced modernisation of the country’s ‘outdated’ air traffic control system to help reduce wait time, increase route efficiency and safety and ensure fewer delays. The air travel ‘revolution’, which will take American air travel ‘into the future’, will help save billions and billions of dollars, he added. POTUS will propose new principles to Congress to help reform the sector.

“Our plan will get you where you need to go more quickly, more reliably, more affordably and yes, for the first time a long time, on time,” he said, while addressing a press conference. “We live in a modern age, but yet our air traffic control system is stuck, painfully, in the past.”

Under the new guidelines, the Trump administration proposes allowing a self-financing, non-profit organisation to take over air traffic control systems, ensuring taxpayer money is not required for it. Further, the Federal Aviation Administration will focus on safety, while a separate not-for-profit entity will ensure route efficiency, timely service and reduction in delays. The reforms will ensure support to rural communities in smaller airports, including airfields used by national guard units.

“At a time when every passenger has GPS technology in their pockets, our air traffic control system still runs on radar and ground-based radio systems that they don’t even make anymore, and which they can’t even fix anymore. Many controllers use slips of paper to track our thousands and thousands of planes that are up in the air,” Trump said.

Taking a jibe at the Obama administration, Trump said it spent over $7 billion trying to upgrade the system but ‘totally’ failed. “Honestly, they didn’t know what the hell they were doing. A total waste of money,” he added. The US is nearing a growth rate of one billion passengers annually, with the sector costing the economy nearly $25 billion a year. Trump is hoping the aviation sector, which accounts for one in fourteen jobs in the country, can provide an economic boost.

 

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