ATC Privatization Threatens to Derail FAA Spending Bill

The issue of ATC privatization continues to delay legislation in Congress. Mitre

As the Senate continues to hone its version of a long-term FAA spending bill, the issue of ATC privatization being pushed by some members in the House threatens to delay legislation that includes many provisions GA leaders are eager to see adopted.

The House passed a short-term extension that funds the FAA through July 15, and some see a series of such extensions as a distinct possibility unless the House and Senate can come up with a compromise.

“Back in February, I said this bill could be a slam dunk but for privatization, and today I still feel that way,” said Rep. Rick Larsen (D.-Wash.) in a statement. “Unfortunately, this controversial privatization plan brings up the very real possibility that we could be looking at a series of extensions. As we know all too well, a series of short-term extensions has very real impacts on all users of the aviation system.”

The FAA bills being crafted in the House and Senate also include third-class medical reform language, a call for an overhaul of aircraft certification standards and more. The Senate’s version, however, removes language calling for the formation of a private not-for-profit board to run ATC, a proposal GA groups argue will benefit major airlines.


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