Aug. 29, 2017
Airport operators in Massachusetts are engaged in a grassroots campaign against H.R. 2997, proposed legislation to privatize the nation’s ATC system. Leading the way is the Massachusetts Airport Management Association (MAMA), whose members include all 37 public-use airports in the state except Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).
“Our first letter to all of Massachusetts’ senators and representatives went out in late June, and we followed that up with another letter in July,” said MAMA Executive Director Dave Dinneen. “I’ve personally called six of our representatives and our two senators, and 10 congressional representatives are getting calls from aviation advocates across the state.”
MAMA has also been active on social media, which has been helpful in mobilizing the general aviation community.
“You’ve heard about grassroots? This really is a grassroots effort,” said Dinneen, noting that MAMA has even reached out to flight clubs, Experimental Aviation Association chapter leaders and other general aviation groups to make sure that their members are also getting involved. “We’ll even approach pilots who have just landed at our airports to make sure they know about the dangers of ATC privatization, and urge them to contact their congressmen. This is a very important fight.”
Dean Saucier, NBAA’s Northeast regional representative, is working closely with MAMA to support its efforts to oppose H.R. 2997.
General aviation is a vital industry in the state. A 2014 Massachusetts Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study Update found that general aviation airports in the state support nearly 5,000 jobs and a total payroll of more than $169 million. The same study found that general aviation airports contribute more than $516 million to Massachusetts’ economy.
MAMA members understand the importance of not turning over U.S. airspace to an unproven, private entity that would be controlled by the airlines. MAMA President Robert Mallard, in the association’s letters to the Massachusetts congressional delegation, noted that his group is opposed to H.R. 2997 because it will “reduce access to airports and airspace.”
Learn more about the Massachusetts Airport Management Association.