In the News
By Chris Frank
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Earlier this month President Donald Trump said the air traffic control system is broken and needed modernized.
The president's plan call for privatizing the air traffic control system. But Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran said Friday privatizing the system could harm the general aviation industry so vital to Wichita's economy.
Moran said, "This legislation is strongly opposed by the general aviation community, who sees this as a threat to the cost of flying a small airplane and therefore their customers and the chance to use air space across the country."
Moran said a 13 member commission would run the system. He said the concern is airlines would have the greatest representation on that board and hence the greatest control.
"But I am one of many who believe this is terribly damaging to all but the largest airports, the largest communities in the country," Moran said.
Moran is concerned separating air traffic control from the government will mean less oversight from congress.
The Kansas republican said he agrees the system needs to be modernized and said it's moving in that direction with new technology. But he said the system can be modernized without making wholesale changes which jeopardizes the general aviation industry.
Moran is concerned current legislation would add user fees for business and general aviation users. He said currently pilots support the FAA through aviation fuel taxes.
"We work hard to make sure the industry, the manufacturing that's located here in South Central Kansas has a bright future and continue to employ Kansans and put more people to work," Moran said.
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