Feb. 8, 2016

Dear NBAA Member,

As you know, NBAA has said for some time that a battle has been looming over proposals for creating a privatized air traffic control (ATC) system, funded by user fees, as part of the debate in Washington over reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

At this point, the battle has moved from looming to underway, and I am writing to ask that you please act today to support NBAA’s work to make the voice of the business aviation community heard in Congress. Here’s the situation:

On Feb. 4, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster introduced his FAA reauthorization bill, H.R. 4441. Not surprisingly, the legislation, which is being pushed by the big airlines, calls for the privatization of our nation’s ATC system, and funds the new system through user fees. Under the proposal, the commercial airlines and their pilots would control the greatest number of seats on a new board created to oversee the privatized system.

This proposal’s plan to privatize ATC is such a pronounced threat for the future ability of business aviation to fly when and where it needs to, that NBAA is compelled to oppose the legislation. I am asking you to write your members of Congress and let them know that you also oppose H.R. 4441.

Oppose H.R. 4441 to Privatize ATC

When other countries have adopted a model like this one, and handed the airlines sweeping authority to make decisions about the aviation system, they often do so in their own business interests. The airlines, can therefore, make determinations about where and when companies using business aviation can fly, how much it will cost to do so, which community airports will (or won’t) be given priority, and what type of payment, including user fees, will be demanded of operators.

In short, in its promotion of ATC privatization funded through user fees, H.R. 4441 embodies a fatally flawed concept that is contrary to long-held positions of the business aviation community, and threatens America’s world-class aviation system, in which Congress ensures non-discriminatory access to the nation’s airports and airspace.

The public airspace belongs to the public, and should be run for the public’s interest. Putting our nation’s ATC system beyond the reach of elected officials has the potential to not only harm general aviation, but also stifle innovation and new competition, and hurt consumers.

There is no time to lose in making our voices heard in opposition to H.R. 4441 – having introduced the bill, Chairman Shuster intends to have it considered by the full House of Representatives by the end of the month.

By contacting your members of Congress today on this issue, we can reach lawmakers to let them know of this specific ATC-privatization threat, and help shape our destiny on a matter of critical importance to business aviation.

Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association