The Atlantic

Why Trump Wants to Privatize Air-Traffic Control

The president is ditching a big-spending infrastructure plan and embracing a Republican-backed bureaucratic reform that can be done on the cheap.
Source: Kathy Willens / AP

The obvious way for President Trump to launch his push for a big, bipartisan infrastructure package would have been for the renowned developer to don a hard hat, motorcade to the nearest decaying bridge, antiquated airport, or traffic-clogged highway, and vow to rebuild America’s crumbling arteries.

He did not do that.

Instead, the president on Monday chose to kick off what the White House is calling “infrastructure week” by championing a rather obscure proposal for bureaucratic reform: the privatization of the nation’s air-traffic control system. Republicans have been batting the idea around for years as a way to shift some 30,000 unionized traffic controllers off the government payroll and get the Federal Aviation Administration out of operating a business it is responsible for regulating. It’s a serious idea that has some buy-in from key industry players, including, most notably, the

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