U.S. President Donald Trump lamented what he called an out-of-date U.S. air traffic control system, but also criticized current modernization efforts as too expensive. Fred Katayama reports.
U.S. President Donald Trump met with top airline industry executives at the White House. He told them his administration would help them better compete with foreign carriers. His guests included the CEOs of Delta, United Continental, and Southwest, as well as couriers UPS and FedEx. One notable absentee - American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. He couldn't make it due to a scheduling conflict. The President and the execs also discussed airport infrastructure and the air traffic control system, which Trump called "out-of-date" and "obsolete." He also criticized a federal government contract for a new system as too expensive. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said modernizing that system would be the "single biggest opportunity for aviation." Shares of U.S. airlines got a lift after the meeting. The U.S. has been debating whether to restructure its air traffic control system. Several countries have moved control from national authorities to independent providers. Also at that meeting with executives, Trump said he would soon make an announcement about his tax plan. That comment boosted the stock market.