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White House Budget Includes $3 Billion for ATC Modernization and No Privatization

March 14, 2019 -The White House 2020 fiscal year budget contains no call for air traffic privatization or any separation of ATC from the rest of the FAA, a clear sign that the united opposition from EAA and more than 250 other general aviation industry groups has been heard.

Last year, Congress considered a proposal to separate the air traffic system from the rest of the FAA and instead place it in the hands of a private board dominated by airlines and their interests, a proposal that at the time was backed by the White House. Unified opposition from general aviation, state aviation officials, labor groups, and bipartisan members in Congress stalled the proposal. EAA has consistently called for modernization, not privatization of the nation’s air traffic system and the proposed budget allocates $3.3 billion for the modernization of ATC and other FAA infrastructure.

“EAA has consistently and strongly advocated against privatization of the national airspace system, and the proposed budget supports our priority that air traffic technology should be steadily modernized and new facilities built to improve the capacity and safety of what is already the most complex and successful system in the world,” Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety, said. “This is a win for EAA and for general aviation as a whole.”

The White House budget establishes the administration’s priorities for the upcoming fiscal year but ultimately it is Congress that determines how much money is actually appropriated for the FAA and how it will be spent. EAA will continue to advocate for modernization of the air traffic system and for the sanctity of manned flight safety and airspace access as emerging technologies such as UAS and autonomous flight vehicles seek to share resources in the air traffic and airspace system.

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