Feb. 27, 2017

Christa Lucas

Last week, NBAA Vice President of Government Affairs Christa Lucas told attendees of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Air & Space Law Update Conference that “ATC privatization is not the answer” to aviation system challenges.

Lucas participated in a panel discussion on aviation issues, which included representatives from the U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Airlines for America and Airports Council International – North America.

Lucas emphasized NBAA’s long-standing concerns with proposed legislation to privatize the ATC system and fund it with user fees.

“We do not support legislation that would allow the airlines to tell us where and when we could fly and how much it was going to cost,” she said. “Our nation’s airports and airspace belong to the public and should be run for the public’s benefit.

“ATC privatization could negatively impact business aviation access to airports and airspace, while imposing onerous user fees,” explained Lucas. “NBAA has long said we are for targeted solutions to identified challenges.”

The status of NextGen was also discussed by the panel, with some panelists suggesting NextGen deployment would improve under a privatized ATC system.

“We do not believe that privatizing the ATC system will bring us closer to air traffic control modernization,” said Lucas. “It will instead set us back in our efforts to further implement NextGen.

“NBAA will continue to work with Congress and the aviation industry as a whole to identify targeted solutions to identified challenges, but ATC privatization is not the answer.”