Friday, September 23, 2011

Orszag Suggests Privatizing Air Traffic Control

Blog readers may be interested in a recent op-ed from former OMB Director Peter Orszag advocating for privatization of the nation's air traffic control system. See Peter Orszag, Private Air-Traffic System Can Soar, Bloomberg Business Week, Sept. 21, 2011 (available here). The notion of freeing air traffic control from the uncertainty of government funding disputes has been on the political radar since at least 1993, when it received prominent mention in the Baliles Commission's recommendations for strengthening the airline industry. Orszag, much like the Baliles Commission, proposes creating a nonprofit entity/government corporation to take over air traffic control. Given the political difficulties that have held up progress on the GPS-based NextGen air traffic control system since the time of the commission, privatization is a debate that is at least worth revisiting.

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