ATC Privatization Comes Around Again

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Six general aviation associations have issued a statement strongly opposing the inclusion of provisions to privatize air traffic control services in the government reorganization proposal unveiled by the White House on Thursday. “We are disappointed that the Administration continues to reintroduce a failed proposal,” the groups said. “Instead, it should put its weight behind FAA legislation pending in Congress that will advance the aviation industry, including general aviation, which contributes $219 billion to the U.S. economy and creates over one million jobs in the U.S.”

According to the statement, opposition to privatizing ATC includes congressional leaders from both political parties, more than 100 aviation organizations, over 100 business leaders, 100 U.S. mayors, consumer and agricultural groups, conservative think tanks and the majority of Americans. It also points out that the idea has already been considered and rejected by Congress. The last attempt to introduce ATC privatization legislation came in the form of a last-minute amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill being voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives. The amendment prompted immediate opposition from the GA community and was removed from the bill.

Overall, approximately 300 aviation organizations, businesses, and officials have stated their opposition to ATC privatization. The groups issuing the statement are the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, National Air Transportation Association and National Business Aviation Association.

Comments (7)

Is anyone actually surprised by this course by the administration, or many members of Congress?

Posted by: Joe Servov | June 22, 2018 10:44 AM    Report this comment

Bureaucrat / Politician know that they can wear us down both financially and emotionally. They have all the money in the country, I know because they keep taking it from us then slap us in the face with it.

If the alphabet groups don't come up with a privatizing ATC strategy and push it very hard then the airlines just won't ever quit until they get what they want. It won't be pretty!

Posted by: Klaus Marx | June 23, 2018 11:06 AM    Report this comment


The FAA is the "red-headed stepchild" of government agencies: Nobody really likes them in the end, even when they do a good job. Why? Because when everything is good, they're invisible. When something bad happens, Congress excoriates the FAA even if there was no plausible way to prevent the problem.

Finally never forget the mantra of the party in power is that the federal government can do nothing right, except the military/defense.

Posted by: Joe Servov | June 24, 2018 10:44 AM    Report this comment

I can't believe the airlines are dumb enough to even want this. They'll end up paying more to keep the privatized system running in the end. And it won't make a significant dent in ATC delays. Which are more weather related than traffic. The politicians that support this plan are the main proponents of it, mainly to get off the hook for the expense of keeping it running. Aviation and air traffic control should be one of the programs they should put at the top of their list to be proud of supporting. There are many other programs I'd much rather see them pull the rug out from under them.

Posted by: Richard May | June 24, 2018 12:49 PM    Report this comment

Mr. May,

A year ago I was commissioned to write a study on the effort to privatize the US airspace system. My research revealed several motives behind the airlines' privatization push. You are certainly correct about the cost escalation a private corporation will face, but that is not the airlines' main concern. They have very specific expectations of a privatized system and, despite their public statements, controlling costs is not among them. I was also surprised to discover the depth of their penetration into the Department of Transportation, its Office of Inspector General, and the effectiveness with which they were able to attack the FAA from within the government. If you would like a copy of the study, please contact me at 209 640-2678.

The airlines are in a difficult position today because of decisions the industry made during the 1990s and early 2000s. I am sympathetic to their plight, but the American people should not pay for their mistakes and omissions.

Posted by: kim hunter | June 24, 2018 2:42 PM    Report this comment

Richard be careful attaching ATC to delays.....if look at delays ATC is not the blame or the problem. Delays come by fact in the form of 3 ways essentially....Airlines overbooking flights creating more flights than available demand at construction. The airlines blame ATC because it promote their agenda which is to get priority over all others in the wide world of aviation. In reality, we (the FAA) move more aircraft in one day than ANYWHERE in the world. ATC is not at fault...its the airlines. Fact check if you fact I encourage you to do so. Privatization will do nothing but increase risk, decrease oversight, and a work with less situation. I've worked both sides. Privatization will do nothing to decrease delays that the airlines are to blame for.

Posted by: Kevin K | June 24, 2018 4:16 PM    Report this comment

You people preach the awful government run FAA, and curse privitization and or any change.. The current system is being strangled in bureaucracy and desperately needs new innovation, and efficiency.. The first notions of New Gen started in 1986 and we still have almost 50% more capacity that can be unlocked without having to build any addional runways.. If only we dared to be bold and allow a tremendous change to take us in a new direction.. Like being able to choose your own flight plan route on your phone, the same way you do when using Google maps.. Be the sheep and follow the old ways, or accept change and unlock a much more efficient system..

Oh, and nothing is free, because we all pay taxes to fund this outdated and inefficient system we have today..

Posted by: Tom O'Toole | June 24, 2018 9:17 PM    Report this comment

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