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U.S. Air Traffic Control System's Size, Safety Make Privatization Points Moot - (4/20/2005)

WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr said the revelation today before the House Aviation Subcommittee that the U.S. air traffic control system accounts for 92 percent of total operations among the world’s largest systems is the best proof yet that it is impractical to discuss emulating other countries’ privatized systems.

“Today, air traffic operators from foreign countries are trying to convince Congress to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system the way they have privatized theirs,” Carr said. “That’s not the best way to protect our nation’s interests.”

U.S. air traffic controllers handle more than 64 million takeoffs and landings each year. Cleveland controllers alone handle more operations annually than Canada’s entire privatized system.

“We have the world’s safest, largest and most complex system. Why in the world would we ever dream of changing it?” Carr asked. “Risking the public’s safety by putting air traffic control up for sale should never be an option.”

Carr said NATCA is focused on working with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Organization as this country’s most promising vehicle for positive change in the air traffic control system. NATCA has invested tremendous amounts of time and resources into making the ATO successful and continues to work toward the vision laid out by Congress.

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