On Tuesday morning, President Trump attempted to take credit for the fact that 2017 was the safest year on record for air travel, with no deaths as a result of passenger jet airliner crashes.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
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
Trump is trying to take credit for a phenomenon that extends beyond America’s borders — nobody died in a passenger jet airliner crash anywhere in the world last year, not just in the United States. And while Trump wants you to believe that he has made flying safe during his year in office, no one has died on a passenger jet airline in the United States since February 2009.
Trump also hasn’t actually done anything to make flying safer.
During a public event at the White House in June, Trump unveiled a vague “Air Traffic Control Reform Initiative” that contained a proposal to take air traffic control responsibilities away from the Federal Aviation Administration, and instead hand them over to a nonprofit entity that would likely be controlled by the major airlines. After the event, Trump held one of his fake “bill signings” in which he affixed his name to a piece of paper containing a list of “principles.”
But Trump’s proposal was widely criticized by industry groups, lacked support among Republicans, and was quickly ditched by the members of Congress actually tasked with writing an FAA reauthorization bill. In September, Congress approved a 6-month FAA reauthorization bill that didn’t contain any of Trump’s initiatives.