Re “GOP wants to privatize air traffic control and let airlines run it. That’s terrible for Americans” (California Forum, Nov. 20): Rep. John Garamendi’s op-ed criticizes legislation to improve air travel, but his facts are wrong. He condemns the Aviation Innovation, Reauthorization and Reform Act as an untested privatization scheme. The fact is a new non-profit organization would be federally chartered, managed by a chief executive officer accountable to a board of aviation experts and ultimately answerable directly to Congress. Further, this model has become the international standard with more than 60 countries having migrated their air traffic control away from government, consistently reducing service costs, maintaining or improving safety and successfully modernizing technology. Garamendi ends with an assertion that the FAA is well on its way to modernization. The fact is that since 2009, the FAA has spent more than $7 billion on attempts at modernization, yet upgrades have not materialized. Rather than condemn the Aviation Innovation, Reauthorization and Reform Act, Garamendi should join some of his fellow Democrats who support it.
Roger Niello, Fair Oaks
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