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Time to modernize the US air traffic control system

eTurboNews -

The overall situation in the United States is summarized by Travelers United as the FAA progress limited by stop-and-go funding and rigid procurement rules

Travelers United is firmly behind the modernization of the air traffic control system, which it considers the most important overall consumer issue in travel today.

“In terms of future savings, the environment, and safety, this modernization will affect America’s travel and the overall economy tremendously,” according to Charlie Leocha, President of Travelers United, the country’s largest travel advocacy organization.

In addition to increasing safety, modernizing the air traffic control system will:

  • save time
  • save fuel
  • make our airports more efficient
  • improve the environment
  • eliminate traffic jams in the sky
  • improve pilot awareness

“After spending tens of billions of dollars of over two decades — more money than we spent sending a man to the moon — consumers still have not seen the promised savings,” says Leocha. “We are mired in a WWII-aged radar-based system while the rest of the world has moved to a satellite-based system.”

Over the past decade, the problem has not been one of overall funding, but one of steady, long-term funding. The rules of government funding with antiquated procurement procedures and stop-and-go budgets have generated massive waste.

“This project has been ignored for far too long,” adds Leocha. “Travelers United welcomes the involvement of the new administration, a revamping of the funding systems, and freedom from procurement red tape.”

The new system being proposed will allow our nation to move into the future. The same air traffic controllers who man our airport towers today will be there when the system goes through its transition. Safety and pilot awareness will not suffer but be enhanced.

Of course, there are tweaks (such as the makeup of the board of directors) that will be hashed out as this project goes through the legislative process. But having an administration committed to treating this modernization as the giant consumer economic project that it is, rather than a political football should allow the American air traffic system to once again lead the world in technology as well as safety.

Travelers United (formerly Consumer Travel Alliance) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that works to provide consumers an articulate and reasoned voice in decisions that affect travel consumers across travel’s entire spectrum — airlines, rental cars, cruise lines, rail, and hotels. Travelers United’s staff gathers facts, analyzes issues, and disseminates that information to the public, the travel industry, regulators and policy makers. For more information or to join, visit

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