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Bolen Urges Regional Forum Attendees to Contact Congress, Fight ATC Privatization

Sept. 8 2017

With the business aviation industry facing “perhaps its most significant threat since NBAA was created,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen implored attendees at the Sept. 7 Morristown (NJ) Regional Forum to contact their representatives in Congress immediately and ask them to oppose H.R. 2997, a bill that would privatize the nation’s ATC system.

The bill, he said, is set to come to the House floor for a vote on Sept. 13, and it would “take the best air traffic system in the world – the largest, the safest, the most efficient and the most diverse air traffic system in the world – and give a group of 13 individuals, picked by special interest groups, sweeping authority.”

Business aviation provides jobs, is an economic driver for communities across the country and provides humanitarian relief in times of need, such as with efforts to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Bolen noted.

“We’re an essential industry, we’re under attack, we need to make our voices heard,” he said. “If you have written your member of Congress, write them again. If you have called, call again. We’ve got to engage right here, right now.

“Don’t leave here without contacting your member of Congress,” Bolen urged forum attendees. “Doing nothing at this important time is not acceptable. We need everybody.”

NBAA members have mobilized in opposition to H.R. 2997. The association’s Contact Congress resource provides a means for using email and social media to alert lawmakers to the industry’s opposition to the bill. In addition, a toll-free action line – 1-833-GA-VOICE – connects constituents with elected representatives to express opposition to the legislation.

More than 100 aviation groups also oppose ATC privatization, and have joined in supporting a dedicated website – ATCNotforSale.com – where citizens can also learn more about the threat from ATC privatization, and contact their elected officials to oppose H.R. 2997. A Facebook page – Air Traffic Control – ATC Not for Sale – provides regular updates about the concerns over ATC privatization.

Morristown Airport Plays Host to NBAA

The Morristown NBAA forum – the final forum for 2017 – marks the first time the association has held its Northeast forum at Morristown Airport (MMU). More than 2,500 people attended the event, which hosted 160 exhibitors and 37 aircraft and vehicles on static display.

Exhibitors said the forum was a success.

“It’s been really good, the turnout’s been quite good, with good quality buyers,” said Clay Hammond, with Columbia Aircraft Sales, a Piper and TBM dealer for the Northeast. “We had good, quality folks stopping by and checking out the product.”

Hammond said the forums are an important event for his company, “You’ve got guaranteed audience. You’re going to be in front of the people who are making the buying decisions. You don’t want to be left out of the crowd. Everyone else is here, you want to show up and put your best foot forward.”

Gerri Kania, from MedAire, agreed, “The forum’s going great. It’s been crazy, busy since we opened.

“These are all our customers and we support our customer base,” she added. “We need to be here to support them.”

NBAA Regional Forums return in 2018 to the follow sites: West Palm Beach, FL on Jan. 24; White Plains, NY on June 21 and San Jose, CA on Sept. 6. Learn more about NBAA Regional Forums.