The Latest: Trump 'positive' on air traffic control change

AP News
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Posted: Feb 09, 2017 12:43 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's meeting with airline executives (all times local):

11:55 am

A top airline industry lobbyist says President Donald Trump was "extraordinarily positive" when airline executives urged him to support privatizing America's air traffic control system.

Nick Calio is president and CEO of Airlines for America, a trade association. Calio spoke after a White House meeting Thursday between Trump and airline and airport executives.

He says he expects Trump will back legislation to spin off air traffic control operations from the Federal Aviation Administration and place them under the control of a private, nonprofit corporation.

Calio says, "I think he's on track to do that."

Business aircraft operators fear the corporation's board will be dominated by airlines.

Airlines have complained the FAA is taking too long to modernize the air traffic system. Republican congressman Bill Shuster is chairman of the House Transportation Committee. Shuster introduced legislation to privatize the system last year but the bill stalled after opposition from other top lawmakers and from business aircraft operators.

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10:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he wants airline travelers to have the best service with minimal delays.

Trump is speaking at the start of a meeting with the chief executives of several airlines, including Delta, United and Southwest. Executives from air cargo companies were also invited to the breakfast meeting with the president.

Trump told the executives that believes the Federal Aviation Administration should be headed by a pilot. He says he hears airline systems are "out of whack."

Airline officials were unhappy with the confusion surrounding the rollout of Trump's refugee and immigration ban, which is currently caught up in the court system. It's unclear whether the executives plan to raise their concerns with the president.

---This item has been corrected to reflect that the American Airlines CEO did not attend the meeting.