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Air traffic controllers, working without pay, ramp up shutdown pressure


Air traffic controllers, working without pay, ramp up shutdown pressure


With the extreme deficits now being racked up it would seem to me that Air Traffic control and other valuable public services should move from the appropriations process to user fees. The problem is a time will come when the Government at the State and Federal level will have to choose between entitlement programs and infrastructure. I don’t see infrastructure funding winning that round.

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There is no reason why Air traffic Control should be paid from budget. It should be paid by everyone that uses the airspace, user fees. It’s already enough that the budget pays for GPS for everyone in the world to use free.


Hi, I’m new here (been lurking for a few months, just joined).

Here are some random links I’ve run across, I’m by no means an expert on the subject.

According to the FAA, much of the FAA’s funding (including air traffic control) comes from the “Airport and Airways Trust Fund”, which is funded by user fees. However, the FAA still requires periodic authorization from Congress to spend these fees. (FAA link) . I’m guessing that Congress didn’t authorize spending from the Trust Fund during the shutdown, resulting in US air traffic controllers working without pay.

Canada, on the other hand, privatized their ATC service in 1996, and it is funded entirely by user fees. This privatized entity is called Nav Canada. (Wikipedia link).

Off on a tangent: It turns out that Nav Canada owns 51% of Aireon LLC, which (as you probably already know) is partnering with FlightAware to provide space-based ADS-B services. (I can’t provide a link because I’m only allowed two).


Is there another country doing it like Canada? I couldn’t find another from Google search.


Romanian ATC is self-financed:


I found an undated article (which I’m guessing is from 2016) here: (Link here). It lists some countries that have privatized their ATC systems: Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and New Zealand (obviously not a full list, since they didn’t mention Romania).

The main purpose of the article, though, is to discuss the pros and cons of privatizing the US ATC system. It attempts to take a balanced approach, presenting the arguments of both sides rather than advocating a particular position. Worth a look, if the topic interests you.


Well, I was thinking about being self-supported versus paid from the budget (Romania case), but not really full-blown privatization.
Thanks for the link.


ATC in Australia is managed by Air Services Australia and is an Australian Government organisation and Air Traffic Controllers are Government employees.

This is the Air Services website which states We are a government-owned organisation

You can apply for an Australian ATC job.



They also say:
“Airservices is a corporate Commonwealth entity with statutory responsibilities. We are wholly owned by the Australian Government and are governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport…”
That does not sound like “government employees”. The difference (for this thread) is the source of funding - from user fees (aircraft companies) versus allocated from government budget (public taxes).