Privatization Remains a Front Burner Issue

Alphabet groups support ATC modernization.

Aviations groups once again call on the House and Senate to eliminate ATC privatization from FAA reauthorization bills.Alamy

Despite the lack of any discussion this week about the inevitable march toward an FAA reauthorization extension, six of the nation’s major aviation associations today voiced their continued collective concerns over the move to “hand over control of the nation’s air traffic control system to the airlines and other special interest groups.”

The AOPA, NBAA, GAMA, HAI, EAA and NATA co-signed two letters, one delivered to John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the other to Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the House's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The letters speak to a lack of any industry consensus for the move to sever ATC from the rest of the FAA’s other areas of responsibility. Relatively new to the discussion of why the parties view this as a bad idea is recent information from the Congressional Budget Office that reported the passing of H.R. 2997 intact would add nearly $100 billion to the federal deficit.

Co-signers went on record again to support the effort to modernize the ATC system but without the Title II provision. The groups urged legislators to “move away from this divisive air traffic control proposal, which is fraught with risks and unintended consequences, including national security concerns and work towards passing bipartisan, consensus-driven FAA Reauthorization legislation.”