June 07, 2017

Duckworth: I Will Not Gamble with the Safety of the Flying Public by Privatizing Our Airspace


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Two days after President Trump announced a plan to privatize the nation's air traffic control system, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today questioned U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao on the President's proposal and other key aviation issues during a Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing.

"The FAA successfully manages the busiest, most complex airspace in the entire world, and, thanks to their good work, America's air traffic control system is also the safest in the world," said Senator Duckworth. "I don't take our air traffic controllers for granted, and I will not gamble with the safety of the flying public. I strongly oppose any proposal to privatize U.S. airspace."

At today's hearing, Duckworth also pressed Secretary Chao for a response to a letter Duckworth sent earlier this year that called on Secretary Chao to explain why the Department of Transportation is delaying implementation of a rule to protect travelers with disabilities. The rule would increase airlines accountability to air travelers with disabilities by ensuring consumers have access to the information they need to make more informed decisions.

Senator Duckworth, a general aviation pilot, combat Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, flew Black Hawk helicopters while serving in Iraq. As a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security, Duckworth oversees the Federal Aviation Administration and issues related to the aviation industry.