Debate Topic: Should the United States Privatize the Air Traffic Control System?

shdo0801

Newcomer
Dec 7, 2011
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Hello guys and gals, I am writing to you today to get feedback from anyone and everyone on the debate of a fully privatized Air Traffic Control System within the United States. This is a debate topic for one of my aviation courses I'm currently enrolled in and my team is arguing for the affirmative side of the question at hand. I'm looking for peoples insight on this issue.

Thanks.
 

Aferggy

Trusted Contributor
Feb 8, 2014
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TimbucTOOOOOO
Hello guys and gals, I am writing to you today to get feedback from anyone and everyone on the debate of a fully privatized Air Traffic Control System within the United States. This is a debate topic for one of my aviation courses I'm currently enrolled in and my team is arguing for the affirmative side of the question at hand. I'm looking for peoples insight on this issue.

Thanks.
What would be the benefit?
 

Stinger

Epic Member
May 24, 2009
1,563
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What are the arguments in support of privatizing the NAS?
Almost certainly cheaper to run. Less people needed. The slower and less complex towers would be either closed or contracted out. No more mandatory retirement age, work as long as you want or are able to.
 

SouthBeachLivin

Senior Member
Sep 14, 2013
171
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South Florida
Duh, some random private business could profit immensely by reducing staffing, safety and accountability all at the same time. I see no upside to keeping it government run. Double bonus if it's a foreign country profiting off of us.
 

Eisenburger

Rookie
Feb 28, 2014
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My god, how nice would it be if each facility could just hold their own job openings and interview candidates.
 

Jax

Senior Analyst
Nov 17, 2010
869
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N90-EWR
The problem with privatizing the ATC system comes from the inherent conflict of interest between profits (the purpose of private industry), and safety. That line "safety was never compromised" will need to be changed to "Safety is never compromised as long as it doesn't affect profitability"
 

ATCtower

Epic Member
Oct 26, 2008
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Duh, some random private business could profit immensely by reducing staffing, safety and accountability all at the same time. I see no upside to keeping it government run. Double bonus if it's a foreign country profiting off of us.

Reducing accountability? Can that even be done now that ATSAP is in place?
 

RobertB

Senior Analyst
Aug 18, 2008
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Almost certainly cheaper to run. Less people needed. The slower and less complex towers would be either closed or contracted out. No more mandatory retirement age, work as long as you want or are able to.
We would all be contracted out... "Delta 123, this vector is brought you by Dos Equis. Stay thirsty my friend and turn left heading 120 and join the localizer."
 
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RobertB

Senior Analyst
Aug 18, 2008
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Hello guys and gals, I am writing to you today to get feedback from anyone and everyone on the debate of a fully privatized Air Traffic Control System within the United States. This is a debate topic for one of my aviation courses I'm currently enrolled in and my team is arguing for the affirmative side of the question at hand. I'm looking for peoples insight on this issue.

Thanks.
So an European Commission already determined that staffing in the USA is 40% lower, works 70% more traffic, and is 23% cheaper. What else do you need to have support the idiocy of privatizing ATC?!?
 

Controller_B

Rookie
Jan 6, 2011
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What RobertB is saying cannot be said enough (the FAA/ATO has the highest productivity out of all the air traffic systems in the world). People tend to presume competence out of "privatization." But that's nonsensical. Private businesses don't become efficient by virtue of simply being private, they become efficient because of competition. Contracting out a monopoly has absolutely nothing to do with competition. So you could end up paying more for less (especially when the contracting process is subject to the same limitations that face all government endeavors: politics, crony capitalism, etc.). Then you run into issues like "too big to fail" and "too expensive to insure." Things that ensure government bailout should there be catastrophic failure. This is privatization in the sense of Fannie/Freddie Mae or the Federal Reserve, not privatization in the sense of Google or Microsoft.

The safety argument is more theoretical (the FAA is unique in being government run, but it isn't unique in being a safe air traffic system) so I don't think it holds as much weight. However, what is often understated is that in countries with privatized air traffic control, the government still plays a gigantic role in being a safety watch dog. Or to say it another way, these countries aren't safe in spite of being privatized, they are safe because the government still plays a large role in regulation.
 

CAAK004

Junior Member
May 12, 2013
95
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We would all be contracted out... "Delta 123, this vector is brought you by Dos Equis. Stay thirsty my friend and turn left heading 120 and join the localizer."
Damn stuckmic for taking away the 'thanks' button!!

One of the best posts I've ever read.
 

phillyman2633

Epic Member
May 13, 2010
4,205
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International waters
www.drudgereport.com
Hey we could privatize the police force, the fire department, even the armed forces. What a concept!
Ahhhhhh, what a tax unburdening that would be....

But that wouldn't work, because deep down inside we're all killing, raping, pillaging animals that are incapable of forming basic volunteer neighborly services and require constant supervision and order