FAA outsourcing victory, or is it?

The good news is the Bush administration plans to fight a provision in the FAA reauthorization bill that would not allow air traffic controllers to be outsourced. An OMB spokesman makes the good point that once you exempt one group from outsourcing, you’re just asking for other groups to stand up and demand exemption. The bad news is the Administration insists, again and again, that it has no plans to outsource air traffic controllers. The OMB said the outsourcing provision, sponsored by Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn. could derail the $58 billion bill. And, of course, no air traffic control article is complete without a reference to Reason’s Bob Poole: Robert Poole, director of transportation studies at the Reason Foundation, a Los-Angeles based think tank, said some Bush officials remain interested in turning air traffic control operations over to a nonprofit entity, or creating a government corporation supported by user fees to handle the work. The Oberstar provision would bar these options, including the government corporation model, which was supported by the Clinton administration, according to Poole.