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US AviationDayNEW YORK, NY: February 22, 2018. IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac says the U.S. government should get out of the business of running America's air traffic management network.

Speaking in New York this week he said the system should be run by a non-profit NGO in order to modernize itself with more efficient technology.

The IATA head also criticized the idea of governments funding infrastructure development through privatization – as proposed by the Trump Administration.

"We have yet to see an airport privatization that has, in the long-term, delivered on the promised benefits of greater efficiency for airlines and a better experience for our customers," said de Juniac. "To date there has been no regulatory formula that effectively balances the interest of private owners to earn a profit with the public interest to have the airport serve as an engine of economic growth.

"By all means, invite private sector expertise to bring commercial discipline and a customer service focus to airport management, but leave ownership in public hands," he suggested.

IATA expects 7.8 billion passengers to travel globally in 2036 – nearly double that of 2017. To meet the demand de Juniac pointed out it "was not rocket science" to have sufficient runways, terminals and airspace.

"I believe, however, that we are headed for an infrastructure crisis- and that includes in the U.S. where we expect passenger numbers to rise 57 percent over the next 20 years to 1.1 billion."

Noting an increase in Customs and TSA charges in Trump's latest budget proposals, de Juniac said it would be unlikely if the money raised went on aviation-related infrastructure improvements: "About 21 percent of the average [U.S.] domestic ticket cost is taxes and charges. And instead of funding much needed aviation investments, too much of this money is being spent elsewhere.

"It's bad enough being taxed like a sin. It is unbearable to have those taxes spent elsewhere." he added.

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