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Letter to the Secretary of Transportation on the Need for Expanding and Improving the Air Traffic Control System.

September 20, 1967

Dear Mr. Secretary:

It is apparent that the rapid growth of commercial and private flying is creating demands for substantial expansion and improvement in the Nation's air traffic control system. The Federal government is the manager of this system. System improvement will, therefore, require large additional outlays of Federal funds for investment and operations. Those who will benefit most from such expenditures, the aviation industry and the flying public, should pay their fair share of the costs of the system needed to handle the increase in air traffic while maintaining a high level of safety. I do not believe the general taxpayer should be asked to shoulder this burden.

I am, therefore, asking you to develop a long-range comprehensive plan for the facilities, equipment and personnel required to meet these needs. This plan should be accompanied by a proposal for financing the improvements through a system of charges by which the users of the Nation's airways bear their fair share of its costs.

Looking toward the immediate future, I am today submitting to the Congress a budgetary amendment designed to provide a more effective use of Federal Aviation Administration funds in the operation of the air traffic control system. I am also requesting you to direct the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct a review of current air traffic regulations, flight rules, and standards with a view toward making such changes as he considers necessary to maintain air safety. Should this review indicate that the maintenance of safety requires changes which involve some traffic delays, the Administrator should nevertheless make such changes.

This Nation has an enviable record of air safety. I know that you and your associates can maintain this record.

Sincerely yours,


[Honorable Alan S. Boyd, Secretary of Transportation, Washington, D.C. 20590]

Note: The President's budgetary amendments for the Department of Transportation are included in Senate Document 50 (90th Cong., 1st sess.).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the Secretary of Transportation on the Need for Expanding and Improving the Air Traffic Control System. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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