U.S. senators challenge Trump plan to privatize air traffic control


The United States' top transportation official on Wednesday promoted the Trump administration's proposed privatization of the air traffic control system in the face of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans.

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"Our air traffic organization must be more nimble," U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told the Senate Commerce Committee. "A bulky federal government procurement apparatus does not move fast enough to keep pace with new technologies and new demands."

President Donald Trump on Monday unveiled the plan to modernize air traffic control and lower flying costs. Under the proposal, air traffic control would be spun off from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and put under the aegis of a nonprofit entity.

Critics say the plan would hand control of a key asset to special interests and big airlines.