Avionics News January 2016 - 4
New Year starts with a continued
threat requiring industry action
s we head into the New Year, the general
including user fees, will be demanded of operators.
aviation community faces the very real threat
I have raised concerns about this matter for some time,
to the industry from proposals, supported by the airline
in testimony before Congressional lawmakers, and in
lobby, which would create a privatized Air Traffic
policy forums hosted by such diverse interests as the U.S.
Control system, funded through user fees, as part of
Chamber of Commerce and the Air Traffic Controllers
legislation for the upcoming reauthorization of the
Association. NBAA members, local business aviation
Federal Aviation Administration.
groups and others have likewise been weighing
In early December, multiple CEOs from
in, alerting Congress to this concern.
many of the nation's largest airlines gathered
Our continued mobilization on this issue
in Washington, D.C., with their association
is critical, and among the ways that you may
president for a press teleconference to call for
weigh in against these proposals is through use
privatizing ATC and funding it with user fees.
of NBAA's Contact Congress resource, which
A resulting USA Today headline made their
allows industry stakeholders to quickly and
intent quite clear: "Airline executives urge
succinctly share their concerns with their elected
privatization of air-traffic control."
leaders on Capitol Hill.
Clearly, the airlines are readying for the
coming battle over ATC privatization, funded by user
fees as part of the FAA reauthorization, and we must do
likewise. Our shared GA community must once again also
band together in active opposition to such a proposal.
In calling for ATC privatization, the nation's airlines
want nothing less than a system they define and control
for their own benefit. Under such a setup, Congress would
be stripped of its long-standing authority over aviationsystem governance, which safeguards the public's interest,
including the companies and small communities that rely
on general aviation.
That role would instead be relegated to a self-serving
"board" or similar entity, equipped with sweeping
authority to make decisions in the airlines' business
interests - for example, 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,
I encourage readers of Avionics News to
utilize Contact Congress to make your voices heard, as
well. By using Contact Congress (available online at
nbaa.org/advocacy/contact), we can start the New Year
by sending lawmakers a clear, powerful, and singular
voice from their constituents on this issue.
In short, by remaining mobilized on this issue now
and into the coming months of 2016, we can help
shape our destiny on a matter of critical importance to
President and CEO,
National Business Aviation Association