What do you guys think?


Well-Known Member
So, research paper...need help. Love you guys and all your insights.
What do you guys know and what do you think about the propsed plan to privatize the ATC industry?

Do you think it's worked for Canada, Australia, UK?

Any other thoughts or ideas about the subject would be great. Thanks fellas.
I say hell no!! They should not privatize ATC here. It already cost enough to fly, I don't need to pay a "radar service fee" or hear:
"AztecXXXXX you are not cleared into the class B, remain outside of class B airspace until your the bank opens and your check can go through."
Bad idea ... user fees will kill the industry, the companies that do it are constantly raising prices to cover costs, and these safety services are inherently a governmental responsibility. It's a bad, bad idea and we all need to do everything we can to prevent the government from ever trying to privatize the separation of air traffic.
Well I tend to agree with you guys automatically. But since it IS a research paper plus I try to understand all sides of a subject before I take a stand on it, I have been paying attention to the "dark side".

Their arguement is that there won't really "be" user fees. That the fuel tax most GA pilots pay for ATC would go to the company or whatever and not be any higher than it is now. And that the airlines would just be paying a nominal fee.

I'm just trying to understand all the sides here.

In doing my research both sides state examples such as Canada, the UK etc. But they both have thier own stats. One side says things have never been better there, efficiency, safety and productivity is high and everything's fine. The other side says there's so many problems they don't know where to start. Strikes, money losses, etc.

I'm just trying to figure out whose "facts" are right.

And also, what you guys think since it does affect us all.
I really don't believe in privatization because most of the fees for ATC and airport maintenance are already paid via avgas taxes, passenger facility charges on airline tickets and a flurry of other taxes, excise charges, fees, etc.

In fact, and unless I'm mistaken, the system pretty much already operates at a profit but various unrelated committees more or less "raid" the aviation trust fund for their non-aviation related projects.

I think it's going to lead to larger fees, make general aviation even more inaccessible and degrade ATC into a "post office" style of customer service.

I'm against the idea. Making it private is NOT going to make it better, but create broad new bureaucracies, fifedoms and some overpaid "Aviation Czar" who probably has loads of political connections but very little practical aeronautical experience.
I've been involved with privatization in the military, and for the most part, it doesn't work. The government is pretty much a "not for profit" entity, and the key to privatization is the belief that a corporation can do that same work for less money AND turn a profit. However, the only real way to turn a profit is to make cuts; unfortunately, some of the most costly areas are also the ones that have the most safety concerns, so you are limited in what you can cut. There are other areas you can cut - the redundant layers of auditing and management - but since those areas will be retained by the government and not privatized, they are not candidates for cost cuts.

I think the real goal here is the fear of privatization to make the government systems look for ways to minimize their operating costs. It seems to be more about making a competition where none exists for the sole purpose of instrumenting changes in the status quo to improve the efficiency and operations.

But, if you look at NASA, cheaper and quicker doesn't always mean better.

A proposed plan to privatize will have an impact even if the plan is never implemented.
Actually they claim a better word would be corporatization. The proposed plan would be a not-for-profit organization with a federal charter and a 15-seat board of directors. 4 from airlines, 3 from GA, and the others from other organizations associated with aviation, someone from ATC, NTSB, etc.
Sounds to me like Angel favors privatization, and is trying to persuade everyone else....
I get the idea that the forces behind privitization are in favor of it perhaps just cause the idea/concept sounds good. I've not heard a good or compelling argument for it. And I can't think of one either. I think this is the type of thing that the governement should keep its hands on.

If you are looking for chatter, compare what you're getting here with the forces that want the privitization.

I just think its a bad idea who's time has come. Hopefully it will die the quiet death of all talk and no action.

Somebody tell me I'm wrong. I'm curious if there is a good argument to be made in favor of it. How would it add value to the system?
That's the thing. You are working ATC for the government, knowing that you have no real competition for your job; that is, no other entity is going to surpass you in the marketplace to try to drive your company out of business. So, you do your job, but is there an incentive for doing your job better or cheaper (or management's favorite buzzword "more efficiently")? Probably not. You go in, do your job, and leave. Besides, ATC is one of those things that is so procedure driven that you can't really make real-time innovations; it's not like an assembly line - you have to things this certain way or safety is compromised.

But it is like the Bobs in "Office Space". I think the central idea is to put the existing ATC on the defensive with the threat of possibly losing their jobs, and that makes them look at how to do things more efficiently.

Regarding "corporization", a corporation is profit driven, and so I don't see how that can be an effective model for ATC. It sounds like the bottom-line with this is to try to shake-up management; but to completely privatize or corporatize ATC will likely cause more problems than it will solve and end up costing more in the short-term without likely causing much of an impact in the long-term without impacting the existing services or safety.

But, I still believe the threat of privatization is likely to yield some results. Any time you stop and ask "Hey, is there any way we can do this better?" you are going to see some impact and improvement in efficiency.
I'm not sure how more efficient ATC could get, maybe some better funding in certain areas, and more controllers.

But I don't know anything

I'm just pointing out what the other side is saying. Isn't an effective view attained by knowing both sides of an issue? I have to refute what the other side is saying if I ever hope to convince that it's a bad idea. All I'm doing is getting your input based on what the other side is.

I'm just pointing out what the other side is saying. Isn't an effective view attained by knowing both sides of an issue? I have to refute what the other side is saying if I ever hope to convince that it's a bad idea. All I'm doing is getting your input based on what the other side is.

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I'm just tesing you . . .you're absolutely correct in that regard.
Talk of privitization making controllers fear for their jobs is absolutely the worst thing to do for the industry. Controlling airplanes is often a thankless job and by no stretch of the imagination are ATC employees overpaid. Air Traffic Control is government controlled and by nature bureacratic, but not in the orderly and safe flow of airplanes. I am a fan of small government but Federalized ATC is a must. If Bush gets his way with ATC he will lose my vote!
I have no stats to back this up but just my observaion: The two airports that I work at CMA and OXR, CMA is an FAA tower while OXR is a contract tower. During the day CMA has alot more traffic but once the sun goes down they both get really quiet. CMA opens and closes with two controllers, while OXR only opens and closes with one. One controller is fine until something happens or there is more traffic then normal(happens from time to time.) THe controllers at CMA say that they try to get a break ever 45-60 minutes when its busy, but at OXR I have hear the same guy on local control for hours. That is one of the problems with private ATC, lower staffing. Its driven by $$$$ not safety.