Captain Sully to Trump: You're Grounded

America's most famous airline pilot has shot down President Trump's proposal to privatize the nation's air traffic control system.


“Our air traffic control system is the best and safest in the world," declares Captain Chesley Sullenberger in a new video produced by the Alliance for Aviation Across America.

Sullenberger famously guided a crippled passenger jet to a safe water landing on the Hudson River in January 2009, a display of calm heroism that saved 155 lives and inspired a Hollywood movie.

“Why would we give such an important and valuable national asset to the largest airlines, the same people who continue to make your airline seats smaller and closer together, who often put expedience and cost reduction ahead of the safety and the welfare of others in the long term?” Sullenberger asks.

In early June, President Trump called for privatization of the air traffic control system as part of his so-called “infrastructure week.” Previous Republican proposals for privatization have stalled in Congress due to bipartisan opposition, and Trump’s endorsement did not improve its prospects.

Sullenberger's opposition puts a public face on the privatization issue.

Sullenberger, played by Tom Hanks in the movie “Sully,” says regional and rural airports “would probably lose capital funds” as a result of Trump's proposal. “That’s really the danger in my mind.”

The AAAA is a non-profit composed of general aviation organizations, many of them in farm states and rural areas.

Sullenberger favors leaving air traffic control in the hands of the Federal Aviation Administration.

“What we need is someone overseeing our air traffic system whose motivation is doing what’s right for America and Americans, and not for their own industry or themselves,” the veteran pilot says.

Watch:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.