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No GA Proposals in Congress … Yet
February 23, 2017 - While general aviation issues have not been at the top of the list during the first month of the new White House administration and the first six weeks of the 115th Congress, those issues are on the table for resolution in the coming months. At the top of the legislative agenda for this session are FAA reauthorization and ATC privatization.
Although no ATC privatization proposals have come to Congress yet this year, there has been a strong campaign by proponents of the idea, particularly in commercial aviation, to advance privatization as part of the FAA reauthorization bill due by the end of September, or perhaps a larger infrastructure bill.
“ATC privatization is much more than the possibility of user fees on general aviation. The thought of a national air traffic system with no congressional oversight of policy or budget concerns us greatly. The fundamentals have not changed and we know that this issue will resurface,” said EAA CEO and Chairman Jack J. Pelton. “We have not seen any specific position being taken by the Department of Transportation and the White House so far, but we have been talking with key people in the Administration to make our views known and will be watching very closely in the coming weeks and months.”
Updates to the nation’s aviation infrastructure are needed, especially in the local airport network and in some of the FAA physical plants, such as older ATC facilities that have not been well maintained due to budget constraints. As presented last year, the ATC privatization plan would not solve some of these basic infrastructure issues facing aviation in our country, but would introduce many concerns for GA over the long-term control of and access to the national airspace system.
EAA continues to be vigilant on this matter while also connecting with other GA organizations and congressional representatives to find real solutions for all of aviation. The freedom of flight for all Americans is too important to all of us.
What do you think? What is the best way to provide the necessary funding and technology upgrades for at national airspace system and preserve freedom for general aviation? EAA members are welcome to add their viewpoint at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate “ATC” in the subject line and include your name and EAA number in your e-mail.