United Airlines chief executive Oscar Munoz says a proposal to create a new independent US air traffic control organisation is "the right thing to do", calling for the long-planned NextGen modernisation of the system.

"It's not about a political privatisation here, it's about the right thing to do," he says speaking at the Wings Club in New York today.

President Donald Trump pitched a new independent non-profit air traffic control organisation as part of a revamped US Federal Aviation Administration on 5 June. The new organisation would be financed through user fees, thus separating it from the notoriously harrowing political budget debates in Congress.

The FAA would focus solely on safety under the president's proposal.

The new air traffic control organisation would then be able to finance NextGen upgrades, which include moving to a GPS-based aircraft tracking system from a secondary radar-based system.

"It's like driving Ferraris on gravel," says Munoz of the current US air traffic control system.

United is joined by most US carriers, including the industry trade organisation Airlines for America (A4A), in pushing for a new independent air traffic control body.

Delta Air Lines stands apart from United and others opposing an independent air traffic control function. The Atlanta-based carrier instead wants airlines, airports and the government to collaborate on NextGen improvements to the existing system.

Representative Bill Shuster, chair of the House transportation and infrastructure committee, is expected to introduce a bill based on president Trump's recommendations within a month.

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Source: Cirium Dashboard