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Ford Stands Tall for GA, Against Privatization

Moving speech at Living Legends of Aviation award program

January 30, 2018 — Pilot and actor Harrison Ford, an EAA member who also served as Young Eagles chairman from 2004-2009, made an impassioned defense of general aviation and against air traffic system privatization earlier this month during the annual Living Legends of Aviation ceremony in Beverly Hills, California.

Ford came to the stage to introduce the recipient of the Harrison Ford Aviation Legacy Award, then asked the audience to “beg your indulgence tonight for something I have to get off my chest.” He talked about the privatization proposal included in H.R. 2997 in the U.S. House of Representatives that would move the air traffic system from the FAA to a board dominated by airline interests.

Reminding the audience that privatization was a corporate giveaway of taxpayer-funded national assets and that privatization is “a solution in search of a problem,” Ford also noted that the proposal would funnel funds to the nation’s busiest airline hubs and diminish funding for smaller airports that are part of the nation’s essential GA infrastructure.

Ford is a very active GA pilot, who in 2016 flew the 2 millionth Young Eagle in a flight at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

EAA and other GA organizations have been vigorously opposing ATC privatization, and letting congressional representatives know of the bad consequences of such a move. Your voice is always welcome to add to the growing tide against privatization. More information, including how to contact your congressional representatives, is available at or EAA’s Rally Congress website.

Ford also introduced fellow EAA member Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), the recipient of this year’s Harrison Ford Aviation Legacy award.  Inhofe was honored for his staunch support of general aviation in Congress.

The annual Living Legends of Aviation dinner honors the leading dignitaries of aviation each year, with proceeds from the gala supporting the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy. Current EAA CEO and chairman of the board Jack J. Pelton and retired EAA president Tom Poberezny are among those who have been honored, along with entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders, record-breakers, astronauts, pilots who have become celebrities, and celebrities who have become pilots. 

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