After trying to weaken air traffic control, Trump laughably takes credit for planes not crashing in 2017.
Back from his golf-a-thon holiday break in Florida, Donald Trump returned to the White House and on Tuesday was once again taking credit for things he has no control over.
Like planes not falling out of the sky:
Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news – it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
Lacking a list of legislative accomplishments, Trump often takes credit for so-called victories that has nothing to do with him.
Trump’s delusional and needy boast about air safety immediate drew guffaws on Twitter:
What prompted Trump’s back patting was the release of two year-end air safety reports. “Dutch aviation consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network both reported Monday there were no commercial passenger jet fatalities in 2017,” Reuters reported.
But Trump’s clumsy attempt to claim credit makes no sense.
For starters, the reports covered commercial flights around the world, not just in the United States. So obviously, Trump has nothing to do with air safety in Europe or Asia, for instance.
Secondly, the report notes that there were more than 40 flight-related deaths last year, but they were not in connection to commercial passenger flights. (Instead they were commercial cargo planes.) Also, many people continue to die in general aviation crashes involving private flights. So it’s not as if Trump has magically eliminated plane fatalities.
Thirdly, aviation deaths worldwide have been falling steadily for many, many years. “In 2005, there were more than 1,000 deaths on-board commercial passenger flights worldwide,” according to the BBC.
Note that the United States hasn’t actually recorded any commercial airline fatalities since February 2009, when Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed short of the runway in Clarence Center, New York, killing 50 people.
Following that deadly crash, lawmakers increased the minimum number of flight training hours to 1,500 that new pilots needed in order to obtain a commercial passenger license.
Republicans are now trying to roll back that safety initiative.
Indeed, it likely surprises nobody that instead of being “very strict” on aviation in 2017, Trump has tried to actively weaken air safety regulations in the United States, in part by backing an industry plan to take air traffic control away from the FAA.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) denounced the move in June, claiming that “handing air traffic control over to a private entity partly governed by the airlines is both a risk and liability we can’t afford to take.”
If Trump could accomplish anything as president he wouldn’t have to fabricate phony victories like this.