Glad US ATC didn’t privatize

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member


“Airlines want to defer payments to Europe’s air traffic controllers, worth about €500m a month, as they battle a deepening cash crisis from a virtual shutdown of international travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Carriers are collectively pushing back on paying February’s charges that are due next month to Eurocontrol, according to people familiar with the situation.

Eurocontrol co-ordinates national air traffic management agencies and is responsible for collecting route charges from carriers to fund air navigation facilities and services in the EU.

It comes as the global airline industry faces a cash crunch. The International Air Transport Association on Tuesday said the sector will need up to $200bn in emergency support as the travel industry bleeds cash in the face of a global lockdown.

The airlines’ main trade body has warned that the majority of carriers face running out of money within two months because of the sudden halt in international flights by governments attempting to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

A spokeswoman for A4E, the European airline trade body, said it was asking governments in the region to defer the payment of air traffic control charges due as well as waiving aviation taxes at EU or national level to help the sector’s future recovery.”
 

Richman

Well-Known Member
Privatizing ATC is light privatizing traffic lights. The last time that was tried, with red light cameras, the companies than ran them started jacking with the duration of the yellows (sometimes in violation of state law) to catch more red light violators. Once people figured out what was going on, everyone started slamming on their brakes, resulting in lots more rear end accidents.

Sounds like a good plan.
 

Fixtur

Prefamulated Amulite
Private sector businesses have cash in the bank to ride out such occurrences. Why couldn't a privatized ATC system do the same?
They would, anyway, if they hadn't spent it buying back their own stocks so upper management could make a killing.
 

mwflyer

Well-Known Member
Ah so there’s no need for this bailout package then for all these businesses? We can just give it to all the workers who have been laid off or furloughed instead?
Agree with you on the OP. I was never for privatization of ATC, and the scenario presented here was one that had never even crossed my mind.
 

FlapOperator

New Member
Parallel topic. Look back at the deregulation act of 1978. It was expected that there would be more and more operators, giving passengers the option for all sorts of fares.
Didn’t work out. Airlines went after each other (aside from the market crashes) and now we have the big 4. Also people are talking about regulating stock buyback too. And finally look at the airlines begging the government for dollas now.

In some industries the state just needs to be there and I think atc (and aviation) is no different. IMHO privatize it and we’ll see all sorts of shenanigans
 

QXDX

Well-Known Member
Ah so there’s no need for this bailout package then for all these businesses? We can just give it to all the workers who have been laid off or furloughed instead?
If you want to discuss the merits of the bailout package, we can do that. But that is not this discussion. This discussion is about whether or not a privatized ATC could ride out an economic event like we're experiencing. So my question to you: What is magical about a publicly operated ATC system that it could survive something a privatized system couldn't?
 

QXDX

Well-Known Member
Parallel topic. Look back at the deregulation act of 1978. It was expected that there would be more and more operators, giving passengers the option for all sorts of fares.
Didn’t work out. Airlines went after each other (aside from the market crashes) and now we have the big 4. Also people are talking about regulating stock buyback too. And finally look at the airlines begging the government for dollas now.

In some industries the state just needs to be there and I think atc (and aviation) is no different. IMHO privatize it and we’ll see all sorts of shenanigans
Airline fares are lower than they are before deregulation. Many more pilots (and other employees) employed in the deregulated era vs. the regulated era. Who's it not worked out for?
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
This discussion is about whether or not a privatized ATC could ride out an economic event like we're experiencing. So my question to you: What is magical about a publicly operated ATC system that it could survive something a privatized system couldn't?
Well, as the system exists in the United States, it couldn't survive. It would be a government granted monopoly (You would not have a choice of vendors providing your ATC service). As a private for profit, it would seek to return as much money to shareholders as possible. So much of its budget would first be spent lobbying to remove regulation. Once that happened, the private ATC corp would try to maximize revenues by providing service to the most profitable customers (certain airlines), and cutting service to less profitable ones. It would also outsource to the lowest cost vendors it could. And the money it made would be returned to shareholders one way or another (or it would get bought out, and someone else would take the money). There is about zero chance it would have a huge rainy day fund on its books.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
Our airport was getting grief from carriers a few months ago about how much cash we held on hand (use that for capital projects, don't raise cost-per-enplanement, they would argue).

Now they're using our cash on hand as a reason for why we should be letting them operate free of charge during this period.
 
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