GA Advocates Oppose Trump Privatization Plan

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Sixteen general aviation advocacy groups signed on to a letter on Monday (PDF) opposing President Trump’s plan to turn the FAA into a private nonprofit corporation. “Dismantling the current system will devastate GA, while not accomplishing the desired goals of efficiency and technological improvements,” the letter says. “Today, the U.S. air traffic control system is the best in the world, moving more aircraft, more safely and efficiently, than any other country. Working with Congress and the FAA, aviation stakeholders have been able to ensure that our system operates for the public benefit, providing access for all stakeholders to airports, heliports and airspace, and encouraging competition and innovation.” The letter says “big airlines” are pushing for the new funding model, but the GA groups say they have seen similar systems in other countries and they are not good for GA.

The letter concludes: “We respectfully request that you provide ample opportunity for all stakeholders and citizens to carefully review, analyze and debate any proposed legislation changing the governance and funding for air traffic control.” The groups signing the letter are: Air Care Alliance, Aircraft Electronics Association, AOPA, Citation Jet Pilots, Commemorative Air Force, EAA, GAMA, Helicopter Association International, International Council of Air Shows, National Agricultural Aviation Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials, National Air Transportation Association, NBAA, Recreational Aviation Foundation, U.S. Parachute Association, and Veterans Airlift Command.

Comments (7)

Unless I missed something, the president did NOT propose to "privatize the FAA." He DID propose to create a non-profit organization to take over the FAA's ATC function.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | June 6, 2017 10:39 AM    Report this comment

Yeah Tom, you did miss something. Trump used the word privatize several times, and if you actually believe that the organization is going to be non-profit, or not-for-profit, you have completely missed the boat (or work for the airlines).

Just how are you going to pay all those folks who work in the towers, TRACONS, centers, etc.? How about the technicians and maintenance folks who keep the equipment functioning? How about utility costs? Building upkeep? Transportation? Flight Check crews? I could go on...

How are those entities going to get paid? Out of the goodness of donations? NO, they're going to get paid with user fees and government subsidies. The airlines are not going to be paying their fair share any longer, and shunt those costs to GA and corporate aircraft, and the traveling public who will see ticket prices include hidden use fee costs now included in the price.

Airlines have wanted this for decades, and blamed all their woes on general aviation -- congestion, inefficiency, delays, etc. is all GA's fault. Yet who is crowding the skies these days? Look up any given moment and count the number of airliners up there versus private aircraft. The airlines have railroaded this through the actions of Shumer and now Trump. Guess who loses in the end? We all do.

Yeah pal, you missed a whole bunch...

Posted by: Jeff Lovejoy | June 6, 2017 11:20 AM    Report this comment

And the FAA is still trying to switch to the ICAO flight plan format which would accommodate the charging and collection of user fees. It is surprising that AOPA still supports this while expressing opposition to user fees.

Posted by: matthew wagner | June 6, 2017 4:33 PM    Report this comment

Guess I just got lucky I didn't buy a "new" plane last week... The current bird will just have to suffice.

Folks, it was nice while it lasted, don't forget to turn off the lights on the way out. Unless you can afford a SETP, Jet, new piston, or similar the only pilot owners will be the idle rich. The rest will be charter and limited school operations. It won't happen right away, but the chilling effect will slowly spread. Costs will rise, pilot hours/usage will fall further. As costs are ratcheted up, more of us will be squeezed out. The EAB segment and ultralights might hold on a little longer at completely untowered fields, but those fields will die an accelerated death as more planes are left to rot by owners unable to find a reason to pull the planes out of the hangars. Plane prices would tumble, if it wasn't for so many rotting.

You get what you vote for, elections have consequences. I for one do not welcome our new airline approved, government subsidized, corporate overlords.

Posted by: Joe Servov | June 6, 2017 9:23 PM    Report this comment

The head boondoggle has so many other worries, I doubt most of what he says will ever be implemented. In fact I'd be surprised if he lasts four years. Governing a Democracy is hard work and requires a skill set not witnessed in the months since the inauguration.

I'll continue to fly my heart out, stay under the radar, not equip with ADS-B and avoid ATC contact as much as possible.

Posted by: Hans Miesler | June 8, 2017 12:29 AM    Report this comment

I try to be more positive in life than some of you folks. People saying government is the answer is setting you up for failure at a very high cost. The only thing government does well is fight wars, build roads and restrict freedoms. Rather than getting all worked up about the sky falling with the ATC system I will choose to wait and see what the plan entails. Private industry can do any task at a lesser cost than Government.

Posted by: bruce postlethwait | June 9, 2017 7:47 AM    Report this comment

Cheaper maybe, but not necessarily better. I'm skeptical of government, but downright cynical about corporations. The government's first priority with ATC is safety. A privatized ATC's top priority will be costs especially when run by the airlines (you know it will). How are they going to save money? Reduce the number of controller? Reduce their pay? (A good way to get better controllers?) davalosEliminate expensive ground based navigation equipment? The FAA is already doing that,eliminating ILS and VORs in favor of GPS approaches and routes. Somebody will need to show me something concrete instead of the pie in the sky we're getting from our hyperbolic president before I would even consider supporting privatizing ATC.

Posted by: John Worsley | June 9, 2017 3:59 PM    Report this comment

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