July 18, 2016

Dear NBAA Member,

Last week, Congress passed and the President signed into law a bill extending funding and programs for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through Sept. 30, 2017.

The measure was passed as Congress continues to debate a full FAA reauthorization bill; while the passage of a complete reauthorization would have been ideal, this extension does provide some good news, in that the bill includes several priorities advocated for by the general aviation community, while rejecting controversial proposals for creating a privatized air traffic control (ATC) system, funded by user fees.

This outcome says much about our industry’s ability to make its collective voice heard. As we know, in the course of this FAA reauthorization debate, the general aviation community has faced a very real threat from proponents of ATC privatization. Our ability to come together to meet that challenge has been key in shaping the legislation passed last week. Simply put, because of you, and your active engagement, we have reached a significant milestone. Thank you for standing up and speaking out for our industry.

That said, this milestone illustrates not just how far we’ve come, but how far we have yet to go. The FAA reauthorization debate is far from over, and much work remains to ensure the U.S. has the largest, safest, most efficient and diverse transportation system in the world.

First and foremost, we must remain fit for the fight on ATC privatization, when it reemerges. That means we need to be vigilant, and ready to mobilize once again. Those supporting privatization proposals will continue to push their agenda on Capitol Hill, and we must continue to be prepared to meet that challenge.

The bottom line is that we can best move forward on NextGen, and expanding system capacity and efficiency, by working for a full reauthorization bill that contains targeted solutions to identified challenges, instead of getting into another distracting debate over creating a privatized ATC system funded by user fees.

As we look to the coming months, our ability to continue coming together in this debate will remain as important as ever. NBAA’s work, supported by your activism, has made all the difference up to this point – as the FAA reauthorization debate moves into its next phase, NBAA will make its voice heard, and we know we can count on you to do so as well.

Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association