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East Room of the White House 

Remarks Prepared for Delivery by
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao
East Room of the White House 
Monday, June 5, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership!

This is an historic day for aviation in the United States.  The bold reforms you outlined today will usher in a new era of enhanced safety and performance in the skies, and spur the adoption of state-of-the-art air traffic control technology.

The Administration has consulted a wide range of stakeholders in our country’s aviation system: passenger advocates, pilots, air traffic controllers, aviation experts, airport managers and others. And we will continue to work with them as this proposal moves forward.  These reforms will benefit everyone who flies, as well as the hard working air traffic controllers who operate the system.  

As you know, safety is number one.  These reforms will accelerate the deployment of new air traffic control technology that is critical to managing the national airspace with more precision, enhancing safety.  

Passengers will benefit, because these reforms will speed up the delivery of new technology that will reduce delays and congestion and improve the passengers’ quality of life.  Currently, students flying home from college, families on vacation, and working moms and dads who must travel for their jobs can’t always depend upon the current system to get them where they are going on time.  We need to improve the system.  

Air traffic controllers will benefit because these reforms will ensure they have the most up-to-date tools and technology. We want to give a shout out to these dedicated professionals, who are the best in the world.  They are true heroes, keeping the flying public safe every day.  Separating air traffic control from the red tape and budget uncertainties of the current system will end the cycle of delay and disruption that has not served them well. 

The new entity will be a nonprofit cooperative where all surpluses will be plowed back to be reinvested in the system.  Over 60 countries are operating safely their air space in similar structures where the Air Traffic Control System is an independent entity freed from the restraints of government procurement regulations. 

And best of all, our country will benefit, because these reforms will ensure the United States remains the world’s leader in aviation, an industry we pioneered.

And now, let me introduce Chairman Bill Shuster, a visionary leader who is spearheading reform efforts in the Congress. 

Thank you.

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Updated: Monday, June 5, 2017
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