June 9, 2017

stack of newspapers

When President Trump held a June 5 press conference to endorse the creation of a privatized ATC system, effectively overseen by an airline-centric board of directors, NBAA was quick to take its case in opposition to the concept to a host of national, local and industry trade news outlets.

For several days following the president’s event, numerous stories detailed NBAA’s concerns over the plan.

For example, Politico, a news organization closely watched by Washington policymakers, called NBAA “one of the most outspoken groups opposing the effort,” directly quoting NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen, who stated: “The recent discussion about privatization is really about the airlines’ push to gain more control over our air traffic control system, so that they can run it for their own benefit, and is a sideshow to a serious and constructive discussion about building on the progress currently underway on NextGen.”
View the Politico article.

Terming privatization as “one of [President Trump’s] more controversial plans” and “an idea that has been tried many times before,” The Washington Post noted that NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association “have said that private air traffic management would give large airlines too much control and threaten private aviation in smaller communities.”
View the Washington Post article.

Bloomberg News termed ATC privatization “one of the U.S. airline industry’s top policy priorities,” adding that legislation containing ATC privatization, introduced last year, “didn’t reach a vote amid tepid support in both parties.” The report further noted NBAA’s support for aviation system modernization, but the association’s opposition to the most recent ATC-privatization plan from the president: “No one should confuse ATC modernization with ATC privatization—the two are very different concepts,” said Bolen.
View the Bloomberg article.

A Reuter’s article, which appeared in the New York Times and other publications, listed NBAA among the critics of the president’s ATC-privatization endorsement.
View the Reuters article as it appeared in the New York Times.

Local media outlets from across the country, and aviation-industry publications also took note of NBAA’s comments on the issue.

As just one example, NBAA’s Bolen appeared in a story published by the Alaska Dispatch News, stating: “We are deeply concerned with the president’s call for ATC privatization — a concept that has long been a goal of the big airlines.”

“NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen re-emphasized his belief that the proposal is borne out of an effort by major airlines to gain more control over the [ATC] system,” wrote Aviation International News.