Sully Opposes ATC Privatization
Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger says privatizing air traffic control in the U.S. will reduce aviation safety and access to aviation. In an interview with Katie Couric, Capt. Sullenberger said of the proposal, “There are other, better ways to solve this political budget problem — by giving the FAA, in running the air traffic control system and making capital improvements to the air traffic control system, more predictable multiyear funding — without giving away the keys to the kingdom to the largest airlines to control access and fees and pricing too.” Capt. Sullenberger famously piloted an Airbus A320 to a ditching in the Hudson River with no loss of life following the simultaneous bird ingestion and failure of both engines and has since become a familiar face on Capitol Hill lobbying on behalf of airline pilots and airline safety issues.
Sully also pulled no punches sharing his opinion on the pilot shortage—or lack thereof: “It’s really only a few of the real bottom-feeders that are the least well run, the least capitalized companies that are having the most trouble [finding pilots] .... There are still a few of them that have extraordinarily low starting pay, in the $20,000 range, barely above food-stamp wage levels, and they’re the ones that are still trying to continue to use what is a broken economic model and one that is not sufficient in this market to attract sufficient numbers of fully qualified candidates.”