Inventing a New Institution for Air Traffic Control

The author of this paper (Paragraph No. 20,101) calls for the creation of a new, non-profit air traffic control system in the U.S., governed by a board of civil aviation stakeholders. He begins by summarizing the growing case for structural reform addressed by the 1993 Presidential Airline Commission. More recently, reports by the U.S. General Accounting Office and the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation have focused on the continued air traffic control problems experienced by the Federal Aviation Administration. In presenting his case, the author discusses air traffic control as a natural monopoly, requiring careful structuring to protect its users. He weighs various organizational options--including a government corporation, user co-op, and regulated investor-owned utility--citing the inevitable tradeoffs among each. Other countries' air traffic control reform approaches and progress also are discussed. Concluding that the nonprofit ATC model, governed by a stakeholder board, is the best option, the author discusses the proposed board's makeup and provisions to protect the system's users. The author identifies three major stumbling blocks to the implementation of his proposal, and makes recommendations for dealing with them: (1) airline disunity and distrust over user fees; (2) concerns expressed by the general aviation community; and (3) concerns of air traffic control employees. The author ends his paper with a discussion of the political outlook for a new air traffic control institution, and the case for thinking that this kind of reform might be possible in the next few years.

  • Corporate Authors:

    International Aviation Law Institute

    DePaul University College of Law, 25 E Jackson Boulevard
    Chicago, IL  United States  60604
  • Authors:
    • Poole Jr., Robert W
  • Publication Date: 2004


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Transfer Binder 1: 2001 to 2004
  • Pagination: pp 10201-10220
  • Monograph Title: Issues in Aviation Law and Policy

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01149559
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 21 2009 2:42PM