U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen gets his GAO report on air traffic control privatization

Nov 30, 2016 Issues: Transportation

Puget Sound Business Journal: U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen gets his GAO report on air traffic control privatization
By Andrew McIntosh

Expressing concern that a push for privatization of air traffic control would accelerate under President-elect Donald Trump, two Pacific Northwest congressmen requested a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report exploring key issues in any potential restructuring and privatization.

"Proponents of privatizing ATC must answer serious questions if they’re serious about moving a proposal in Congress," said U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen.

Taxpayers have invested $50 billion in 66,000 air traffic control assets over the past 20 years, said Larsen, a ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure's aviation subcommittee from Washington's 2nd District. He was joined in his request by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio from Oregon's 4th District.

The GAO – an independent and non-partisan federal agency – issued a 78-page report of the U.S. aviation traffic control system, which is now managed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

"Any air traffic control restructuring would be a difficult, complex, challenging multiyear effort. The air traffic control system is bigger and more diverse than any other system in the world," the GAO report found.

Trump generally supports the privatization, says Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster.

You can download the full GAO report here.

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