Buttigieg: We’ll ‘Own’ Air Traffic Control Problems, But That’s Only ‘5% of the Issue’

During an interview with CBS aired on Thursday’s edition of “CBS Evening News,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg responded to a question on air traffic control staffing issues and why they haven’t been resolved after the Department of Transportation sharply criticized airlines for their issues with staffing by stating that the agency is hiring people and is “going to own anything that’s under our control.” But air traffic control is only “5% of the issue” and “a much greater share of the delays and cancellations” are the fault of the airlines. He also acknowledged that the airlines have improved since a year ago.

CBS News Senior Transportation and National Correspondent Kris Van Cleave asked, “You were very hard on the airlines about their staffing issues. A year later, ATC is still having its own staffing issues. Why hasn’t that gotten fixed?”

Buttigieg responded, “Well, look, we’re going to own anything that’s under our control. We’re talking about 5% of the issue and we’re hiring up, staffing up. Meanwhile, the airlines, which are responsible for a much greater share of the delays and cancellations, have made improvements since we really put that pressure on them a year ago.”

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