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Donald Trump’s Air Traffic Overhaul Unveiling Buried Under Twitter Tantrum Headlines

Deadline logo Deadline 6/5/2017 Lisa de Moraes

After an exhausting morning angrily tweeting rants against the mayor of London over his handling of the weekend’s attacks in his city, and Trump’s own justice department delays in getting through the courts what he’s calling his watered down, politically correct travel ban proposal, President Donald Trump held a ceremony in the East Room of the White House Monday to announce his administration will send to Congress legislation pushing to privatize the country’s antiquated air-traffic control operations.

Recognizing this ceremony would have a hard time competing for media attention against his own morning rants against London’s mayor, his own Department of Justice’s travel-ban spin, etc, media-savvy Trump made sure to include a yeasty Obama blast during his White House ceremony.

“The previous administration spent over $7B trying to upgrade the system and totally failed. Honestly they didn’t know what the hell they were doing. A total waste of money,” Trump said.

Trump’s ceremony was widely televised by news outlets no doubt hoping he would go off-script and take another whack at London’s mayor for having told citizens not to be alarmed by the stepped up police presence in the wake of the latest London Bridge attack. Sadly for them, Trump stuck to script, describing how the air traffic control system was designed decades ago when about 100K people flew each year. Air travel now approaches 1B passengers annually and the system cannot keep up, causing flight delays and costing the economy “as much as $25B a year in economic output,” Trump read from the teleprompter.

“We live in a modern age, yet the air-traffic control system is stuck painfully in the past. The FAA has been trying to upgrade system for long period. But after billions and billions of tax dollar spent, and years of delays” the country is “still stuck with an ancient, broken antiquated horrible system that doesn’t work.

“Other than that, it’s quite good,” Trump added.

The proposal turns air traffic control over to a self-financing non-profit organization, with “no need for taxpayer money” Trump promised. The FAA will focus “on what is does best, safety.” A separate non-profit entity will oversee route efficiency, and flight- delay reduction.

Trump promised “cheaper, faster and safer travel, where 20% of ticket price doesn’t go to the government” and travelers do not sit on the tarmac or circle for hours before landing, which Trump called “dangerous.”

“Today we are taking first important step to clearing the runway for more jobs, lower prices and much, much, much better transportation,” Trump said, sticking to his scripted speech.

Introducing Trump, Veep Mike Pence cast the proposal as a fulfillment of Trump’s campaign promise to replace the country’s crumbling infrastructure.

“Thanks to President Donald Trump America is back,” Pence beamed.

“Enhancing air safety and more precise landings in America is a good thing,” Pence said, joking he was speaking from personal experience, his plane having veered off a runway during a campaign stop landing.

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