GovCon Wire’s Weekly Roundup: American Infrastructure, Privatized ATC and More

Weekly Roundup

June 5 – June 9 2017

A Note From Our President & Founder Jim Garrettson

This past Wednesday, President Trump brought attention to his plan to overhaul the crumbling infrastructure of the U.S. During a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, Trump called for bipartisan cooperation to “join in the great rebuilding of America.”

The infrastructure modernization efforts proposed by President Trump will focus on improving our nation’s highway systems, waterways, electrical systems and airway systems. The White House aims to achieve the goal of rebuilding American infrastructure primarily through public-private partnerships, funded by $200 billion in tax breaks over a nine-year period that could potentially generate $1 trillion worth of construction. The White House believes that $200 billion in direct federal spending will be the catalyst for an $800 billion spending and investing boom from cities, states and the private sector.

The takeaway is that there is going to be a great deal of movement and opportunity in the infrastructure sector in the next few years.

One area where there are plenty of opportunities is air traffic control. On Monday, President Trump announced a plan to remove tracking and guiding planes from the Federal Aviation Administration’s purview and privatize the U.S. Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. The ATC system currently in use was designed before air travel became as common as it is today. The aged ATC system is straining to monitor the high number of planes in the skies and struggling to make sure that flights are safe and operate on a reliable schedule.

Although the FAA has been working on modernizing ATC, progress has been painfully slow. The proposal to privatize air traffic control is strongly favored by commercial airlines, and many executives from those companies joined Trump to announce the plan.

According to the White House plan, a private, nonprofit corporation will be created to operate and manage air traffic control for the entire nation. The plan doesn’t shut the FAA out entirely, as it will be given some oversight capabilities, but primary control over ATC will be given to a board comprised of major airline representatives.

President Trump’s push to revamp American infrastructure across the board and his desire for a privatized ATC will open up numerous opportunities for private sector companies to become involved. We can expect to see RFIs and RFPs from numerous agencies to bolster the nation’s aging infrastructure, especially if the White House’s prediction of $800 billion in private sector investment and spending comes true. As for the privatization of ATC, we can expect to see movement from companies interested in taking part in the endeavor and when the transition is completed we will likely see many requests for various products and services needed to successfully track and monitor flights.


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