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David Ditch is a research assistant in the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget at The Heritage Foundation.
With discussions for resolving the partial federal government shutdown seemingly at an impasse, some are concerned about the shutdown’s impact on two components of the air-travel system: air traffic control and airport security.
Way - Impacts - Role - Areas - Benefits
The best way to prevent negative impacts would be to reduce the federal role in both of these areas. Doing so would also bring additional benefits.
The Department of Transportation’s air-traffic control system and the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are both caught up in the shutdown due to spending bills for their respective departments not yet having been signed into law.
Result - Travelers - Security - Lines - Control
As a result, many travelers are facing longer security lines, and air-traffic control employees are voicing complaints about having to work without pay.
While most shutdown discussion revolves around casting blame and creative ways to prevent shutdowns from taking place, Americans should instead consider whether the federal government should be responsible for so many aspects of day-to-day life.
Case - Control - Americans - System - Costs
In the case of air-traffic control, Americans are shortchanged by a system that is bureaucratic and wildly out-of-date. This has meant higher costs and less functionality for airlines, which in turn leads to higher prices and more delays for passengers.
A positive example lies to the north. Canada’s air traffic control system, which covers a similarly large amount of territory, was turned over to a private nonprofit in 1996. The...
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