The United States has the most sophisticated aviation system in the world—and one that plays a central role in our national economy. Two million passengers fly on 70,000 flights every single day in America. Aviation supports nearly 12 million jobs and over $1.5 trillion in total economic activity. Yet, an industry that is so critical to so much of our world today is operating on outdated technology and infrastructure that can barely keep up with demand.
Every day, the men and women who keep our aviation system safe and secure – including flight attendants, pilots, air traffic controllers, gate agents, inspectors and safety specialists, mechanics, and transportation security officers – are asked to do more with less, and it’s only going to get worse. By 2034, U.S. airlines will carry 1.2 billion passengers per year.
Dangerous government shutdowns, unpredictable funding levels, and staffing shortages have all stunted a system that, for years, has struggled to keep up with growing demand. NextGen modernization projects — which are needed to upgrade our air traffic control system from WWII-era technology —require consistent, dedicated, and adequate funding. In addition to technological upgrades, we need to invest in our nation’s airports in order to accommodate the continued growth of the industry. These types of investments will increase the efficiency, reduce waste, and allow for greater job growth.
2020 candidates who care about the future of this country, growing the economy, and creating a healthy middle class must take seriously the challenges faced by our aviation industry, and commit the resources to commercial aviation that this sector needs.