New Federal Officials Delay Medical Reform; ATC Privatization Back In Play


A blanket order from the Trump administration to place a 60-day hold on all new federal regulations may affect the finalization of the FAA’s new third-class medical rules, EAA said this week. Under the hold, implementation would be delayed from May 1 until July 1. “Such a freeze is not unprecedented when a new administration and party enters the White House,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy. “It is intended to allow time to review regulations issued under a previous administration. Often the freeze is lifted after a short period of review … That could very well occur well before the May 1 effective date for the third-class medical regulation, but only time will tell.” Also, advocates for privatizing the federal air traffic control system are hopeful a new proposal will find support in this year’s Congress.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has for several years been promoting legislation that would take 14,000 air traffic controllers and 16,000 other workers away from the FAA and create a separate nonprofit corporation that would be subject to FAA oversight. He told The Washington Post recently that he is working on a new version of the plan that he will introduce this year. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association was supportive of Shuster’s previous proposal, hoping it would create a steadier form of funding, unlike the frequent freezes that FAA is subjected to, but the bill failed to win much support in Congress. NATCA told the Post they will evaluate Shuster’s new proposal before deciding if they will support it.