President Trump’s “Skinny Budget” Proposes to Transform U.S. Air Traffic Control

March 16, 2017


Washington D.C. – Today the White House released President Trump’s first budget proposal for 2018. In it the President proposes to shift air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration to an independent organization. This split would be a massive departure from the way that the United States has directed its air traffic for 80 years.

The Trump Administration’s proposal mirrors years of work from the Eno Center for Transportation’s Aviation Working Group. This group brought together key stakeholders in the industry—including air traffic controllers, airlines, and others—to understand how to improve the nation’s aviation network. Depending on the year that this shift is enacted, it would remove between $11 and $12 billion per year from the federal budget.

“The purpose of spinning off air traffic control from the federal government is to create a safer and more efficient system with the potential to continue the growth of America’s aviation industry. If the Federal Aviation Administration was freed of its role of directing air traffic, it would be able to focus on its core mission as the aviation safety overseer.” said Eno’s President and CEO, Robert Puentes.

By not being subject to budget sequestration and spending caps, government shutdowns, and hiring freezes, a new and independent entity would also be better able to undertake urgently needed upgrades. International examples demonstrate how such investments would increase capacity, reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, and save fuel.

Eno aviation expert, Rui Neiva added, “Necessary, but sometimes cumbersome, federal procurement rules have hindered the government’s efforts to modernize air traffic control. This shift would save taxpayers money and help make this crucial part of our economy more efficient.”

To inform this critical debate, Eno is hosting an event titled Delivering Modern Air Traffic Control on Tuesday, March 21 in Washington D.C. The morning event will focus on a new Eno report: Time for Reform: Delivering Modern Air Traffic Control.

The event will be hosted by Eno President, Robert Puentes along with former U.S. Secretary of Transportation James Burnley and former U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan. Eno aviation expert Rui Neiva will also be presenting.


James Burnley, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Byron Dorgan, Former U.S. Senator
Rui Neiva, Policy Analyst, Eno Center for Transportation
Robert Puentes, President and CEO, Eno Center for Transportation

Register Here

EVENT: Delivering Modern Air Traffic Control
DATE: March 21, 2017
TIME: 9:30am – 11:00am EDT
VENUE: The National Press Club
ADDRESS: 529 14th St. NW, Murrow/White/Lisagor Rooms, Washington, DC 20045



Ann Henebery