[House Document 115-45]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



115th Congress }                                         { House Document
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session    }                                         { 115-45

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        PRINCIPLES FOR REFORMING THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEM

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                     THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

THE ADMINISTRATION'S PRINCIPLES FOR REFORMING THE NATION'S AIR TRAFFIC 
                             CONTROL SYSTEM

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    June 7, 2017.--Referred to the Committee on Transportation and 
                Infrastructure and ordered to be printed
                                           The White House,
                                          Washington, June 5, 2017.
Hon. Paul D. Ryan,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: I am pleased to transmit to you my 
Administration's principles for reforming our Nation's Air 
Traffic Control (ATC) System. Each year, our ATC system 
contributes $1.5 trillion to our economy--roughly 5 percent of 
our gross domestic product. To protect and improve this 
critical infrastructure asset, we must focus more attention on 
our ATC system and enact much needed reforms.
    Despite using 1960s technology and operating in outdated 
facilities, United States air traffic controllers remain the 
best in the world. Every day, they safely manage the largest, 
most complex airspace system in the world. As air traffic has 
increased, however, the FAA has had to sacrifice system 
efficiency to maintain safe operations.
    Our Nation's air traffic is only going to increase, and 
today's ATC system simply will not be able to handle the volume 
that is expected over the next two decades. Without immediate 
attention to comprehensive ATC reform, aviation congestion and 
delays--which already cost the United States economy more than 
$25 billion per year--will worsen and our economy will further 
suffer.
    The Federal Government's $1 billion per year investment in 
the NextGen Program's improved ATC technology has proven 
insufficient. Unfortunately, political interference, budget 
uncertainty, and a bureaucratic government procurement system 
have continued to impede modernization efforts. The NextGen 
Program was originally estimated to cost $40 billion. By the 
Inspector General's most recent estimates, however, it may cost 
an additional $80 billion to complete. By the time it is fully 
operational, the technology may already be obsolete.
    Efficient operation of our airspace requires significant 
investments in rapidly evolving technology. In this 
environment, bureaucratic efforts are unlikely to succeed. That 
is why all other industrialized countries, with the exceptions 
of the United States and France, have separated their ATC 
functions from government. By taking that critical step, those 
countries have accelerated modernization, maintained or 
improved safety, and lowered operating costs.
    We must take bold action now to preserve the competitive 
economic advantage in the world economy that our ATC system 
provides. The enclosed proposal describes a new, not-for-profit 
ATC entity that will leverage private capital to enable faster 
modernization and immediate safety and operational improvements 
for all users of the system, from passengers to shippers to 
operators.
    I look forward to working with you to enact these important 
reforms into law.
            Sincerely,
                                                   Donald J. Trump.
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