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ATC Privatization Opposed by Consumer Groups
January 28, 2016 – A new coalition of consumer advocacy groups calling itself Americans Against Air Traffic Privatization (AAATP) made its public debut on Tuesday, meeting with media to outline their effort to stop an expected proposal to privatize the national air traffic control system.
AAATP held a media conference call on Monday to outline its position and also announce a petition that currently has more than 115,000 signatures, that will be delivered to Congress. According to a AAATP news release, the petition is part of the group’s campaign to advocate for an FAA reauthorization plan that retains ATC within the FAA and restores long-term, stable funding to the air traffic control system.
While EAA has no direct connection with this new organization, EAA advocacy staff did attend the media event and are watching the developments with interest as ATC privatization promises to become a major legislative issue in the coming weeks. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia) spoke at Monday’s news briefing, expressing deep concerns that no information about any privatization proposal has been made available to members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and urging bipartisan cooperation on any FAA reauthorization proposal. Both legislators indicated grave concerns with privatizing the ATC system.
Separate from this new coalition of consumer groups, more than a dozen GA organizations last week sent a letter to members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, stating “real and longstanding concerns” with the concept of ATC privatization and urging that ample time and opportunity be allowed to review and provide input on any proposals to overhaul the air traffic system.
EAA Chairman/CEO Jack Pelton also addresses this issue in the February 2016 issue of EAA Sport Aviation, which was sent to members this week.