March 17, 2016
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen and NBAA Vice President of Government Affairs Christa Fornarotto recently visited Lansing, MI to encourage the local business aviation community to continue its advocacy efforts on important industry issues, including FAA reauthorization.
On March 14, Bolen spoke at a luncheon that brought together government and legislative affairs staff members from companies involved in the Michigan Business Aviation Association (MBAA). Bolen explained that the key benefit of business aviation is scheduling flexibility and access to airports not served or underserved by commercial airlines. He told the government relations experts how privatization of ATC services would negatively affect this access and flexibility.
“It was important to share our industry’s values, and explain to company government relations representatives how current issues threaten business aviation,” said Bolen. “These individuals are on the front line, often strategically located near state capitals or in Washington, DC, and they can share the incredible value of business aviation with state and national elected officials, if given the right tools.”
On March 15, Fornarotto attended MBAA’s Legislative Day at the state capital, where she spoke about pending FAA reauthorization legislation and NBAA’s opposition to a privatized ATC system funded by user fees.
“Any FAA reauthorization bill that includes privatization of air traffic control services will have a dire effect on business aviation,” said Fornarotto. “Privatization of ATC, as called for in the House of Representatives’ reauthorization proposal, could negatively impact access to airports and airspace and lead to unnecessary user fees.”
Fornarotto also shared details of the Senate Commerce Committee’s FAA reauthorization bill, which does not include privatization of ATC services. NBAA has endorsed this legislation, which the committee voted to report out on March 16.
“We commend MBAA and its members for their commitment to advocacy,” said Fornarotto. “Their voices are important ones, and we encourage them to make sure they are heard on both the state and national level. Michigan business aviation users have a lot at stake if ATC is privatized.”