The Hill on iPad

June 23, 2017

As Congress debates FAA reauthorization, proposals recently promoted for turning the nation’s ATC system over to a private board have sparked strong opposition among many American business leaders who rely on business aviation, and their concerns have been noted by national news organizations, Capitol Hill outlets and industry trade publications.

On June 19, more than 100 CEOs, many of whom are also pilots, sent letters to U.S. House and Senate leaders to weigh in on the issue, noting that “our nation’s airspace belongs to the public, and every person, business and community should have fair and equitable access, not just a few special interests in select cities and metropolitan areas.”

Politico, a news website widely read by congressional policymakers and their staff, promptly reported: “More than 100 CEOs of various-sized businesses – many of whom are pilots themselves – are sending letters to House and Senate leaders today opposing the ATC spinoff.”
View Politico’s coverage.

A second political news website, The Hill, noted, “Business leaders are coming out in fierce opposition to President Trump’s controversial proposal to privatize air traffic control. The group said their community depends on air traffic control to keep their businesses running.”
View coverage from The Hill.

Yet another political news source, Daily Caller, said that “the group of business leaders argued the Trump administration should work to modify the existing ATC system, rather than turning it over to a private board.”
View the Daily Caller article.

At the national level, the Fox Business News website reported that, “instead of removing [ATC] authority from the public sector and assigning it to a private board, the business leaders propose amending the current program through “targeted solutions.”
View the Fox Business article.

Aviation news sources have also picked up on the CEOs’ letter. For example, the Aviation Today website noted that in their letter, the CEOs highlighted the fact that, “By virtually every objective measure, the U.S. ATC system is the largest, safest, most complex and efficient in the world,” and that their letter argued “that because of the capability of the current system, other countries seek expertise from the U.S. and use technologies deployed and manufactured in the U.S.”
View the Aviation Today article.

“These American business leaders analyze the risks and benefits of potential investment opportunities each day, and in addition, have direct knowledge of our nation’s air traffic system,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen in a statement issued by the association shortly after the CEOs’ June 19 letter became public. “Based on their unique perspective, they have all concluded that privatizing our nation’s ATC system and turning it over to a private board represents a risk that we simply cannot take.”