NBAA Streamlines Process of Contacting Congress

Ed Bolen encourages pilots to contact their representatives to move along the FAA reauthorization bill without ATC privatization.

NBAA Ed Bolen
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen speaks in Van Nuys about the organization's system to help people quickly contact lawmakers regarding the FAA reauthorization bill.Pia Bergqvist

NBAA’s president and CEO Ed Bolen took the opportunity to encourage attendees at the NBAA Regional Forum in Van Nuys, California, last week to contact their representatives in hopes of moving the FAA reauthorization bill along while opposing the ATC privatization provision that is stalling its progress. NBAA recently implemented a system that makes it easier for business aviation supporters to get their voices heard either via email or Twitter.

Bolen said the new system, which allows people to send a targeted message in less than a minute, was implemented about six months ago and has made a difference, increasing the number of people supporting the organization's mission to protect business aviation. There are now more people who weigh in and more people who reach out a second time because of how easy it is, Bolen said.

While Bolen said a 2-to-1 majority has opposed ATC privatization and the Senate passed FAA reauthorization bill in April without the ATC privatization provision, progress on the reauthorization bill is still stalling in the House as the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Bill Shuster, who has the power to move the reauthorization bill to the floor, appears to insist on the ATC privatization language to be a part of it.

“Our hope would be that there would be a recognition that no matter how strongly you feel about it, the votes are not there and it’s time to move forward on something else,” Bolen said. “We don’t know if that will happen or not. But this is what we would like to see done.”

The current extension of the FAA reauthorization expires on July 15.