ATC Privatization Explained
For some time, we have been vigilant, and ready to mobilize, when it comes to the continuing battle over air traffic control (ATC) privatization. The moment for action has arrived, with June's introduction of H.R.2997 – legislation containing provisions for privatizing ATC – a long-standing priority for the nation’s big airlines.
Here’s why we must stop this legislation: H.R.2997 proposes to strip control of aviation-system oversight from the public’s elected representatives, and essentially hand control of the system over to a group of private parties, largely unaccountable to Congress.
The citizens, companies and communities relying on general aviation for business, civil services and other needs will be the ones most at risk if this legislation becomes law.
Under the new structure, the private parties would be given sweeping authority to restrict access to airports and airspace, set and collect air transportation taxes, and increase costs for flying. Resources for airports and other infrastructure could be directed away from general aviation. The setup could jeopardize service and access for smaller communities. Perhaps most troubling, the work underway to build a NextGen aviation system could be seriously delayed, while an entire governance structure is disrupted.
Simply put, H.R.2997 embodies a flawed and risky idea, which NBAA and the business aviation community have long opposed. We support implementation of targeted solutions to identified problems to ensure America’s aviation system remains the world’s best in all aspects, for many years to come. What we don’t support is a plan to give away, for free, America’s taxpayer-funded aviation assets to a group of self-interested parties.
We must act immediately to alert Congress to our unified opposition to H.R.2997, as the House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has slated the bill for consideration.