NBAA: New CBO Report Says ATC Privatization Bill Swells Deficit By $100 Billion

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360,

Washington, DC, Aug. 17, 2017 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today highlighted the latest concern over a congressional proposal for privatizing air traffic control (ATC), resulting from Congressional Budget Office (CBO) findings that pending legislation to privatize ATC would grow America’s budget deficit by nearly $100 billion.

The updated analysis of the legislation, H.R. 2997, released this week, comes after top House Democrats asked the non-partisan CBO to take another look at the bill. The House members noted that the House Rules Committee made significant changes to the bill for the chamber’s consideration, including the addition of a tax title.

Signing the letter requesting the updated review were ranking members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Peter DeFazio (D-4-OR); the Committee on the Budget, John Yarmuth (D-3-KY); the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-30-TX); and the Committee on Ways and Means, Richard Neal (D-1-MA).

The ATC privatization proposal was introduced earlier this year by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-9-PA). The bill would turn over control of the system – currently overseen by the public’s elected representatives in Congress – to a new entity governed by private interests unaccountable to congressional oversight.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said the updated CBO score adds to the many, significant concerns already raised by a diverse and growing chorus of people and organizations over H.R. 2997, including congressional leaders from both political parties, more than 100 aviation organizations, over 100 business leaders who are also pilots, 100 U.S. mayors, consumer and agricultural groups, and a majority of American citizens, who oppose the idea by a two-to-one majority.

“This study is further evidence that ATC privatization is a bad idea for all Americans,” Bolen said. “The new CBO findings show that the House bill to privatize ATC would increase the nation’s budget deficit by nearly $100 billion. Adding to the budget deficit, just to help the big airlines, is the definition of bad public policy.”

NBAA members have mobilized in opposition to the privatization bill. The association’s Contact Congress resource provides a means for using email and social media to alert lawmakers to the industry’s opposition to H.R. 2997. In addition, a toll-free action line – 1-833-GA-VOICE – connects constituents with elected representatives, along with a brief list of suggested talking points. Visit Contact Congress to learn more about these initiatives against H.R. 2997.

The general aviation community is also supporting a dedicated website – – where citizens can learn more about the threat from ATC privatization, and contact their elected officials to oppose H.R. 2997. A Facebook page – Air Traffic Control – ATC Not for Sale – provides regular updates about the concerns over ATC privatization.