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Privatizing U.S. Air Traffic Control?  
User currently offlineSwissINTLA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 87 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3761 times:

I live in central PA in USA and they started running ads that told us to call our congressmen and tell them not to privateize Air Traffic Control. So what are the pros and cons of this if it is approved????


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11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGoboeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2683 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3739 times:

My mom told me about one of these commercials, but I haven't seen it yet. There's phone number on them and everything. I think it's a bad idea to privatize the ATC system. Safety truly has to be the first priority here, period. You can't start cutting corners to save money. I think it's one industry that must be done by the government. Private companies have to make a profit and the government doesn't.

Nick


User currently offlineDFWLandingPath From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3732 times:

Even if they do privatize it, won't government regulations and restrictions be so prevalent that it will just be the same as if they controlled it?

Cheers,
DFWLandingPath


User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3728 times:

Your neighbours in Canada privatised their air traffic control years ago...don't hear much of an outcry north of the border.

User currently offlineAirways6max From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3720 times:

Air traffic control technology in America is extremely outdated. For example, Chicago O'Hare Air traffic control tower still uses tubes. Clearly, the U.S. government cannot keep technology in the air traffic control system safe. Maybe a private company can.

User currently offlineAirT85 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3703 times:

According to these commercials, privatising ATC has "failed" in Canada, Europe and Australia. How accurate is this claim? If it had failed I'd imagine we'd see mishaps every day...is it really any worse off than our current system here in the States?

Tony


User currently offlineMCIB757 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 280 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3692 times:

It has not "failed" in Canada. It has done really well from what I know. They have some of the best technology in the field of Air Traffic Controlling. Where as in most of the U.S. we have very outdated systems that were built in the 70's and maybe even before that. If the government is not going to put money into ATC then I would be for privatizing ATC.

Tom



"God bless catastrophe..."
User currently offlineNWA757 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3696 times:

Privatizing U.S. ATC would be a disaster. Although it has been "okay" in Canada, I don't think that it would work in the U.S. Since the current technology is outdated, what needs to happen is the Federal Government needs to drastically improve the existing ATC system, if that doesn't happen soon then privatizing might work. I know that currently NATCA (National Air Traffic Controllers Association) is battling the issue with the gov. I hope they are successful.

**REMEMBER: F L Y N W A 7 5 7 s**



Fly High!
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined exactly 15 years ago today! , 8193 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3683 times:

If privatized, air traffic controllers in the US will face wage cuts and furloughs. The contract would go to the lowest bidder and would result in less of a budget for the controllers. This means an even slower update of equipment and a loss of many skilled people. Keep ATC federal!


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User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3688 times:

It definitely has not failed here in Canada. In fact, private companies are usually much more responsive than government bureaucracies. I'm surprised some of you don't want to try private ATC, since health care is arguably more important, and that's private in the United States.

You have to look at the most efficient way of providing the service while adhering to strict safety standards. Only then can you decide which way is better.



"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
User currently offlineAtcboy73 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1100 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3687 times:

Goboeing--is right on!

Im an FAA air traffic controller (with a contract tower in my airspace) in central Texas and was thinking about starting this topic.

When you have a private company operating a contract tower the motivating factor is money and profit. Its not training. Controllers don't become controllers over night. It may take anywhere from 2 to 5 years to become a fully certified controller, depending on what type of facility you are working. Do you think a contract company wants to devote that much time to make sure some knows how to do the job.

Facility maintenance can be lacking. The contract tower I work with on a daily basis has had a frequency down for maintenance for over 4 years. It just became operational a few months ago. When we found out it was back we all laughed. A lot of us didn't even know it existed.

Staffing--Most (if not all) contract towers are operated with minimal staffing. If the controller goes down the tubs, oh well, you just have to work you way out of it and hope everything goes ok. It doesn't always go ok, though. 2 mid-airs in the Chicago area, at VFR contract towers can attest to that. Now everyone is suing everyone involved, including the FAA, for lack of oversight.

No age limit--Watch out if you fly into contract tower airspace. Your controller may be 75 years old.

It comes down to this.

When you go in for surgery do you want you surgeon to be well trained and at the top of his game? Do you expect that he is focused on you and the situation and not thinking about how much he has to go to the bathroom or how hungry he is. You trust that he has all the people around him he needs to get the job done. You hope he has all the technology (and that its operational) to do his job. You hope he has your best interests at heart and isn't thinking about how tired he is or that its been 3 hrs since his last break.

You could insert air traffic controller there now couldn't you. I know surgeons are not Federal Employees but you have a choice in surgeons. You don't have a choice in your air traffic controller. Hell, you don't even get to meet the guy know that we cant have visitors (9/11).

This is just the beginning. The Bush administration wants to contract out 69 towers in this country. Some of these are some of the busiest towers in the world. Places like Denver Centennial, Van Nuys, Pontiac and SFB.

THIS IS NOT JOKE! These are very busy places, just as busy if not busier than JFK, SFO and CLE.

What the contract tower companies really want is to win government contracts and then cut, through understaffing and other means, pocketing the rest.

You can call

1-866-I-FLY-SAFE

The system is set up by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

It will ask you, your zip code and then walk you through the process of informing your Congressmen or woman/Representative of your views on the subject. It will then transfer you to the Representatives office. It only takes 3 minutes and all you need to do is let you Rep know you live in thier state, you vote and that contracting of ATC concerns you and to not support any effort to privatize or contract out the nations air traffic control system.

Contracting is NOT GOOD for our ATC system and your representative needs to know it.


User currently offlineAtcboy73 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1100 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 3671 times:

Regarding Canada

Has the Canadian ATC system not raised fees to its users? Has the Canadian system not had its credit rating downgraded. Have working conditions at Canadian ATC operation centers deteriorated? Has NAV Canada's financial difficulties prevented it from hiring additional air traffic controllers? Has the work load on NAV Canada's controllers increased from this?

YES
* "Nav Canada, the privatized air traffic control system that has served as a model for the United States, suffered a downgraded credit rating on Jan. 24 due to an operating deficit of $19 million last year. The downgrade may dissuade top officials in the Bush Administration from adopting a similar privatized system."

Airline Financial News, February 3, 2003
Safety & Technology

Nav Canada: A Failed Attempt At Privatization

Nav Canada was established in 1998 as a private, not-for-profit company and is responsible for managing the country's air traffic control system. The privatized system has led to significant increases in user fees for passengers and dangerous understaffing in towers.

* Nav Canada faces dire financial problems.
The private, not-for-profit company has faced a $150 million revenue shortfall and has raised user fees for passengers by 6 percent to cover its operating deficit. As a result of these increases, passengers have paid an additional $24 on every return ticket for air travel across Canada.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHmmmm, and what if Air Canada continues to loose money. Don't they have to pay fees to Nav Canada?


YES

UK

* The number of aircraft "near misses" over Britain has risen to its highest for a decade, while controllers' concerns about safety have been ignored. There were more than 220 near misses during 2002, according to the UK Airprox Board. Meanwhile, staff have threatened to walk out because the private management organization refuses to invest in the long-term improvements in the system needed to increase safety and efficiency. NATS has also announced deep cuts in support staff as part of a cost-cutting program aimed at regaining financial viability.


* Even the British parliament has been dissatisfied with this private-public partnership. A report issued by the Parliament's Select Committee on Transport came to the following conclusion:



Is the British ATC system not responsible for almost 40% of European delays

YES

Are the Australian controllers threatening to strike? Are Australian controllers finding themselves in positions where they cant help aircraft in distress due to possible litigation. Has Australia's ATC system not raised fees?

YES


YOU GUYS----The FAA has introduced big advances in new technology and its not all the tub and transistor set you think it is.

Not only that but lets not forget we run THE MOST ADVANCED, COMPLICATED BIGGEST AND BUSIEST system in the world. HANDS DOWN!

Its is also a system that , according to its users meets or exceeds their expectations every day.


Does everyone understand that if I work at a contract tower I can be sued if something goes wrong?

YES

Is this really the system we want?


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