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Congress Back in Session, Threat of ATC Privatization Still Looms

Congress Back in Session, Threat of ATC Privatization Still Looms

Aug. 31, 2017

As Congress returns from summer recess on Sept. 5, NBAA is encouraging members to step up their level of contact with their elected representatives, to let them know of the business aviation community’s ongoing opposition to H.R. 2997, a bill that would enable ATC privatization.

“This is a critical period that could determine the future of business aviation in the United States,” said Christa Lucas, NBAA’s vice president of government affairs. “NBAA strongly encourages its members to contact their federal elected officials through social media, email and phone calls. Elected officials need to know their constituents are very concerned about ATC privatization and they are watching this issue carefully.”

NBAA anticipates that Rep. Bill Shuster (R-9-PA) – chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and author of H.R. 2997 – will continue to push his bill, which would remove ATC from the FAA’s authority, replacing the existing oversight structure with an airline-centric governing board that would have control over airport and airspace access and aviation taxes.

The FAA’s current funding mechanism and authority to operate expires on Sept. 30, and Congress will likely grant an extension to the current funding and authority, rather than pass a new FAA reauthorization bill.

“Controversial provisions in the current FAA funding bill, H.R. 2997, are unlikely to be resolved before the FAA’s current funding expires, so an extension of the FAA’s current funding is probable,” said “However, that extension will be temporary, and the threat of ATC privatization will continue. That means the fight against ATC privatization is not over, even if a temporary extension passes before Sept. 30.”

Although a temporary extension would enable the FAA to continue operating without interruption, fighting ATC privatization will remain a top general aviation industry priority.

More than 130 general aviation-related organizations congressional leaders from both political parties, more than 100 aviation organizations, over 100 business leaders who are also pilots, 100 U.S. mayors, consumer and agricultural groups, and a majority of American citizens oppose the idea of. In addition, a recent study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that privatizing the ATC system could increase the nation’s budget deficit by nearly $100 billion.

The association’s Contact Congress resource provides a means for using email and social media to alert lawmakers to the industry’s opposition to H.R. 2997. In addition, a toll-free action line – 1-833-GA-VOICE – connects constituents with elected representatives, along with a brief list of suggested talking points. Visit Contact Congress to learn more about these resources for opposing H.R. 2997.

The general aviation community is also supporting a dedicated website –ATCNotforSale.com– where citizens can 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.