NBAA Focus: Groups Rally in Opposition to Airline-Supported ATC Power Grab

NBAA Focus: Groups Rally in Opposition to Airline-Supported ATC Power Grab

Numerous business aviation groups and other industry stakeholders from across the country have responded to the Feb. 8 “Call to Action” issued by NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen, asking their members to contact lawmakers about opposing a plan to privatize ATC and fund it with user fees, which has been proposed as part of a U.S. House of Representatives FAA reauthorization bill, H.R. 4441.

As one example, the Louisiana Airport Managers and Associates (LAMA) approved a resolution opposing the replacement of congressional oversight of the nation’s ATC network in favor of a privatized entity, as outlined in the House legislation. The resolution is particularly significant, as LAMA’s constituency of more than 200 members includes representatives from the six air-carrier airports within the state.

“LAMA is of the firm belief that oversight and regulation of air traffic control will be best accomplished by reauthorizing the [FAA], and more specifically, by maintaining FAA and congressional oversight,” the resolution stated, adding that the current system is much better than “transferring control to a private board or entity which might have authority over funding mechanisms and taxes, two areas best administered by the FAA, which is a governmental body whose direct oversight by Congress best insures its efficiency and responsiveness.”

Other regional aviation groups have also publicly expressed their opposition to transferring control of the ATC system to a private entity outside of congressional oversight.

“We are sending this letter to request that you oppose any attempt by Congress to privatize our nation’s air traffic control system and fund it with user fees levied against any segment of general aviation,” noted a joint letter – indicative of several sent to congressional lawmakers – co-written by the Georgia Business Aviation Association and Georgia Airports Association on behalf of the groups’ collective memberships.

In Florida too, multiple aviation groups joined forces to express their opposition to privatizing ATC services. “We are reaching out to you on behalf of over 400 of your constituents, who are members of the South Florida Business Aviation Association, Florida Aviation Business Association and the Tampa Bay Aviation Association, which includes entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes in Florida that rely upon the flexibility and access provided through business aviation,” read the joint letter.

Other local and regional aviation groups also recommended their members act immediately. Among them were the Massachusetts Business Aviation Association, Oklahoma Business Aviation Association, Southern California Aviation Association, Nevada Business Aviation Association and the Colorado Business Aviation Association.

The New Mexico Municipal League and the Teterboro (NJ) Users Group are two more examples of organizations that urged their members to act upon NBAA’s call to action. Joining them were other members of the general aviation community, such as the Eastern Region Helicopter Council.

In their email alerts, the groups often linked to NBAA podcasts and web pages on the subject of FAA reauthorization. Groups also suggested their members use NBAA’s online Contact Congress tool to send personalized emails and tweets to their federal representatives.

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