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ATC ‘privatization’ delayedATC ‘privatization’ delayed

AOPA urges members to continue speaking upAOPA urges members to continue speaking up

Despite a push from proponents beholden to the airline lobby, the U.S. House of Representatives again delayed a vote on a controversial proposal to reorganize the air traffic control system, a bill that AOPA and nearly 200 general aviation groups have strongly opposed, with no word as of Oct. 5 on when the vote might come.

Photo by Christopher Rose.

H.R. 2997, championed by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and others, would reorganize the nation’s air traffic control system and put it under the control of a private entity that would be dominated by airlines. AOPA members have joined the rest of the general aviation community in vocal opposition to this proposed change to the world’s largest and most complex air traffic system. AOPA's Government Affairs team asked members to be patient: The on-again, off-again nature of this push to wrest control of ATC from the FAA was not expected to end any time soon, and AOPA members should not take the postponement of any one vote as reason to think the issue is settled.

Shuster took to the House floor Oct. 3 to oppose the GA community, which in turn countered with a joint statement Oct. 4, calling on Congress not to “side with airline lobbyists in Washington” in favor of a “fatally flawed” bill. Among the many concerns expressed, “the legislation would give a 13-member board of directors unilateral power to … collect revenues and direct those resources, leaving small and rural communities at risk,” the statement said.

The GA groups called on members of the House not to take a “Washington-knows-best” approach, but rather to approve a multi-year FAA reauthorization that maintains the current governance of air traffic control and in turn ensures the continuity and safety of the system.

AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker asked members to keep up the pressure by contacting their representatives in the House and voicing opposition to H.R. 2997.

“If you haven’t called your representative, please do; if you have already called, please do it again,” Baker said.

Baker noted that AOPA has made it easy to contact members of Congress with tools posted on the association's website or by calling 855/383-7330.

AOPA Communications staff

Topics: Capitol Hill

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