Air Traffic Control Needs An Upgrade, But It’s Airlines That Should Pay

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian is echoing calls by United CEO Scott Kirby for Congress to increase funding for the FAA.

I think it’s very clear that there has to be a call to action amongst our political leaders; the Congress and the White House, to fund and properly provide the FAA the resources they need to do the job.

He’s right that the FAA’s air traffic organization is underfunded. But it’s not only the amount of money that’s the problem, it’s that funding comes from annual congressional appropriation cycles which makes doing long-term capital investment difficult. It’s tough to fund major IT projects. The organization is also well-known culturally for managing these poorly.

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