Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who successfully landed an airplane in the Hudson River after it lost both engines in 2009, has spoken out against efforts to privatize air traffic control, The Associated Press reports.
Air traffic control privatization is being pushed by President Trump, but is opposed by many Democrats as well as a handful of Republicans, including Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.). "No man was better [than Sullenberger] when it came to safety standards," Russell said. "And then he demonstrated it that day, that he knew what he was talking about. I think we need to take pause, and take a step back, and listen."
Sullenberger pointed out that there have been no fatal commercial airline crashes in America in eight years. "The FAA is not broken," he said. "What this proposal does is take an extreme solution to a non-problem."
Supporters of privatization claim the bill would allow the FAA to modernize, save money, and ultimately reduce airport delays. Other countries, including Canada and Great Britain, already have privatized air traffic control.
Sullenberger argued that instead, privatization would put profit concerns over an attention to safety. "It gives the keys of the kingdom to the four largest airlines," he said. "I can guarantee you the four largest airlines don't always have the interests of the traveling public in mind."