Proposed legislation includes the creation of a non-profit corporation controlled by a 13-member board with representation from the major airlines and the broader aviation community.
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, ranking Democrat on the House transportation committee, cited concerns the plan would increase the federal deficit and diminish safety.
On Wednesday, Trump will travel to Cincinnati to talk about improvements to the 12,000 miles (19,300 km) of inland waterways, dams, locks and ports critical for shipping farm products, and will deliver a speech about his vision for infrastructure. "Many controllers use slips of paper to track our thousands and thousands of planes that are up in the air", Trump said.
Make no mistake, Tennessee and America need roads and other infrastructure improvements - along with the jobs those improvements create.
"That is one of the areas administration would be mirroring other countries and how they operate privatized control towers", said DuRay.
The same group of House members also toured the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic control facilities at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.
President Trump announceD plans Monday to privatize the nation's air traffic control system, arguing that it is the best way to modernize the system.
The agency is funded largely in part by aviation user fees, such as taxes imposed on airline tickets, jet fuel, and air travel miles. It also says privatizing air traffic control amounts to "handing the airlines (for free) control over a core public asset, and providing them almost unbridled power to extract new fees and increased taxes from passengers".
Current air traffic control (ATC) still runs on radar and ground-based radio technology, Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday. The FAA will maintain responsibility for safety oversight. Most airlines back the plan.
The proposal to privatize the air traffic control system will encounter major hurdles in Congress where Democrats and some Republicans oppose it. Trump has frequently said that ongoing modernization efforts were already obsolete. "If we aren't able to modernize and innovate using the latest technology, the impacts to the traveling public will continue to grow".
Meanwhile, small airports are concerned high user fees will favor large airlines and make it more hard for private pilots to fly.
"Air traffic control is now using outdated technology", said DJ Gribbin, special assistant to the president for infrastructure, in an off-camera briefing with reporters. "We're falling behind countries like Canada".
He's flying to Cincinnati Tuesday and plans to focus on updates to waterways. The event will highlight the locks, dams and other elements of the inland waterways system crucial for moving agricultural products and other goods.