President Trump announced plans to privatize the Air Traffic Control division of the Federal Aviation Administration. As with most of his proposals, he is long on promises and short on planning. His credibility is doubtful, his quick fixes are simplistic and his goals seem to be do something even if it is wrong. His claims that industry leaders are all in agreement on his proposed course of action is false. There is agreement that modernization should continue. But not for privatization.

Privatization and modernization are two separate and independent issues. No one argues against modernization. The FAA and the industry have made tremendous advances through the years and they continue as budgets allow.

Privatization is a highly questionable venture. The idea has been tried with varying degrees of success through the years, but the question that is most perplexing is who controls the system. When the government controls the system, it is always subject to review by the people. Once it becomes private, big business will be in the driver’s seat. Profits will determine the priorities by which decisions are made.

A private corporation will cost more than the current federal program. And there is no indication it will work any better than the system now in place.

President Trump should be demanding more from the FAA. If he is so good at what he does, that is where his focus should be. He should not be shooting from the hip with the public’s hard-earned tax dollars.

Ron Russell, Auburn

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