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ATC Privatization, Safety Issues Dominate Pacific Northwest Regional Event

April 13, 2017

With the upcoming congressional debate on FAA reauthorization and possible ATC privatization looming, “the business aviation community must engage with elected officials at the national, state and local levels to advocate on behalf of general aviation,” Dick Doubrava, NBAA vice president of government affairs, told attendees at the Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association’s (PNBAA) 9th annual Safety & Security Day.

Doubrava told attendees at the April 6 meeting, which was held at The Museum of Flight at historic Boeing Field near Seattle, that congressional representatives from Washington and Oregon will be especially important on this issue.

“It is vital that you contact your elected officials to let them know that any proposal to privatize the nation’s ATC system and turn it over to an airline-centric board of directors would ultimately result in reduced access for general aviation, and adversely impact smaller communities and airports,” Doubrava said.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen, who addressed PNBAA members via video, congratulated the regional group for being one of the first to join the fight against ATC privatization, citing the group’s 2015 letter to congressional representatives. Bolen urged attendees to continue their efforts to educate elected officials about the serious impact that a privatized ATC system could have on business aviation and the communities it serves. View Bolen’s PNBAA video greeting.

NBAA board members Bill Ayer and Mark McIntyre also spoke at the event, with McIntyre encouraging his fellow operators in the Pacific Northwest to become even more engaged and to utilize the many advocacy resources provided by NBAA.

Besides focusing on advocacy, the full day of programs featured sessions on numerous operational and regulatory safety and security topics, including:

  • Fatigue facts for flyers and aviation pros
  • Personal protection and awareness
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems update: airspace and regulation
  • Packing parachutes for safety

Dave Ryan, chairman of NBAA’s Safety Committee, made a presentation on the committee’s 2017 Top Safety Focus Areas, and thanked the PNBAA board and others who collaborated on the Safety & Security day. “Your efforts truly represent how engagement and collaboration can work toward making business aviation safer,” he said. Read more about the 2017 Top Safety Focus Areas.

For additional information on advocacy in the Northwest, or participating in regional group events in this area, please contact NBAA’s Kristi Ivey at kivey@nbaa.org.