President Donald Trump signed a letter on Monday announcing he will move to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system to kick off what the Trump administration has dubbed "infrastructure week."
Former transportation secretaries joined Trump at the White House, where he told reporters he was planning to turn the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic control functions into a separate nonprofit.
"Our air traffic control system is stuck painfully in the past," Trump said. "The FAA has been trying to upgrade our nation's air traffic control system for a long period of years but after billions and billions of tax dollars spent and the many years of delays, we're still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated, horrible system that doesn't work."
Trump laid out the intended plan for the privatization of air traffic control.
"Our new plan will dramatically improve America's air traffic control system by turning it over to a self-financing non-profit organization. This new entity will not need taxpayer money," Trump said.
Trump said that under the new plan, the FAA will focus on what it does best: safety.
"A separate non-profit entity would be charged with ensuring route efficiency, timely service and a long-awaited reduction in delays," Trump said.
Pres Trump signs decision memo on Air Traffic Control reform and legislative principles documents. pic.twitter.com/e7JY93JyNn
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 5, 2017
The announcement does not come as a surprise, as Trump met with airline CEOs in February. The FAA had pushed back in a statement saying it had already spent $7.5 billion appropriated by Congress to update the system that managed air traffic control, ABC News reported.
Trump plans to travel to Cincinnati on Wednesday to lay out his $1 trillion plan of new infrastructure investments. He will then on Thursday meet with a bipartisan group of mayors and governors at the White House for an infrastructure summit.