Giuliani: Privatize Air-Traffic-Control System

Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 06:08 PM

By Hiram Reisner

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani says he thinks a major terrorist attack on U.S. air targets is less likely now nearly 10 years after 9/11, but airplanes always have been a favorite terrorist target, and air traffic control should be privatized to further increase national security.

Giuliani also said Wednesday on Fox News that he is glad the government is abandoning the color-coded terror alert system.

“I think we need to redo the air-traffic-control system — we’ve probably have had to redo it for a long time,” Giuliani told Fox News’ Neal Cavuto. “I think the idea of privatizing it would make all the sense in the world, because I think it would take a new look at it, and get it organized differently.”

It is appalling that air traffic controllers are falling asleep on the job, Giuliani said.

“The reality is: We’ve had some very close near misses, which would have been just as catastrophic as a terrorist strike,” Giuliani said. “So there is no question we have to modernize our air traffic control system — I have no doubt that a privatized system would operate much better.”

Giuliani said he would fire the accused air traffic controllers because “you can’t fall asleep on the job — they are getting paid a lot of money not to fall asleep on the job.”

Cavuto asked whether a series of attacks like those that happened on 9/11 could happen again.

“I would be harder for that to happen now, because there is a tremendous amount of more security around air traffic,” Giuliani replied. “Could it happen? Of course.

“Look what happened in Detroit a year-and-a-half ago — it almost happened in Detroit,” he added, referring to a foiled terror plot. “I think because it goes back to the early Palestinian terrorists — going back to the ’60s. We think of September 11 as being the beginning of terrorism — it wasn’t.

“Terrorism goes back to the ’60s — the Munich Olympics [massacre of Israeli athletes] was in ’72 — Islamic terrorism has a real focus on airplanes,” Giuliani continued. “How many airplanes have they hijacked in the last 40 or 50 years? But we are more vulnerable in other areas — we’re more vulnerable at our ports, we’re more vulnerable at our borders — those are areas where we haven’t done as much to get ourselves secure.”

Regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s move away from a color-coded alert system, Giuliani said: “I like it better — the color system from the very beginning confused me.”

“I think announcing the threat level is a very good idea — it was a good idea when President Bush started it — and it’s a very good idea now that they are refining it.”

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