March 10, 2016

Though H.R. 4441 – the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act – has not yet been taken up for a vote by the full House of Representatives, regional groups in the business aviation community understand that the battle over privatization of the ATC system continues.

For example, the Colorado Aeronautical Board (CAB), which is responsible for establishing the policies that grow aviation in the state, held a special meeting to draw up a resolution that supports multi-year FAA funding and opposes privatized ATC.

Citing CAB’s support for new ATC technologies, such as its partnership with the FAA on the remote ATC demonstration project at Fort Collins/Loveland Municipal Airport, the board made it clear that “oversight, regulation and further development of our nation’s air traffic control system is best accomplished by maintaining FAA and congressional oversight.”

Transferring control to a private entity would strip these functions from the FAA, “a governmental body whose direct oversight by Congress best insures its efficiency, responsiveness and accountability of these fiduciary responsibilities,” CAB noted.

View the CAB resolution. (PDF)

Similarly, the Michigan Business Aviation Association (MBAA) sent a letter of opposition to each of the state’s elected federal representatives. Addressing the consequences of a privatized ATC system, MBAA cited adverse experiences with such systems overseas:

“We have already seen the negative effects from similarly privatized systems in several foreign countries. These entities receive funding through user fees, which in turn require a new bureaucracy of billing agents, collectors and auditors that impose a huge administrative burden on those required to pay the fees.”

MBAA also added a section to its website, which includes a resource its members can use to fight ATC privatization. View the MBAA website.

Also, the Massachusetts Business Aviation Association recently sent its members a legislative alert that urged them to continue to express their opposition. It provided links to NBAA’s Contact Congress tool and related resources, and asked its members to share the alert with those in their networks and encourage their participation. View NBAA’s Contact Congress tool.

These groups join a host of others that have recently written Congress to cite their concerns over the concept of a privatized ATC system, funded by user fees. Read about more groups that have taken action against H.R. 4441.

Review NBAA’s FAA Reauthorization and Modernization resources.