NBAA Praises FAA Personnel Responsible For Safe and Efficient Movement of Air Traffic

Contact: Cassandra Bosco

Washington, DC, December 20, 2002 – “The National Business Aviation Association joins with NATCA and many others in the aviation community who agree that air traffic control is, uniquely, a governmental function in that it must be operated for all users as a monopoly,” said NBAA Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs Pete West. Speaking at a gathering of interested parties at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, West continued, “Recent proposals for ‘privatizing’ the ATC system would shift significant power to certain user groups, to the detriment of those with less representation on relevant governing bodies.” He added, “There also is the potential for raising safety concerns by creating separate entities with conflicting missions.” West also focused on concerns related to the funding of a “privatized” system, asserting that “user fee funding (a revenue generating mechanism usually associated with the ‘privatization’ concept) is less efficient and more unpredictable than the current excise taxes.

NBAA, which represents more than 7,300 Member Companies that rely on general aviation aircraft in the furtherance of their business or are involved in business aviation, applauded the government’s air traffic controllers as true professionals. West observed, “The FAA personnel responsible for providing ATC services do an excellent job and should continue to manage and operate the ATC system.”

We encourage the Administration to stay on the path of the Congressionally-mandated management reforms, combined with the healthy funding such as that provided through AIR-21, to ensure more significant progress toward system modernization and capacity enhancement – the best means for ensuring a safe and efficient air traffic system,” stated West. “The contribution of civil aviation to the nation’s economy approaches $1 trillion annually and, when demand returns to the pre-9/11 level, the government must be relied upon to maintain a safe, secure and efficient air transportation system to facilitate civil aviation,” offered West.

West finalized his remarks by saying, “We look forward to working closely with the new Congress and the Bush Administration, primarily the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as the new Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, in this regard.”

NBAA represents the aviation interests of more than 7,300 companies which own or operate general aviation aircraft as an aid to the conduct of their business, or are involved with business aviation. NBAA Member Companies earn annual revenues approaching $5 trillion — a number that is about half the gross domestic product — and employ more than 19 million people worldwide. The NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention is the world’s largest display of civil aviation products and services.

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