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Pelton Tells House Appropriators About ATC Privatization Threats

May 4, 2017 - EAA CEO and Chairman Jack J. Pelton on Tuesday told the leadership of the House Committee on Appropriations that privatization of National Airspace System operations (NAS) would take it out of federal oversight and have a chilling effect on general aviation.

Pelton joined representatives of NBAA, HAI, AOPA, and NATA in Washington, D.C., for the meeting. Pelton noted that along with the loss of federal oversight, a privatized airspace and air traffic system controlled by an independent board dominated by airline interests would threaten air service to smaller communities and rural regions of the country.

“It was a positive session, as the House appropriators understood very well the pitfalls of ATC privatization,” Pelton said. “EAA’s opposition to ATC privatization is much deeper than any threat of future user fees. This is about fair and equitable access to the national airspace system, proper federal oversight of essential infrastructure, and preventing wholesale transfer of taxpayer-funded assets to a private entity guided by users, in which profit-driven airlines would carry the biggest stick. GA becomes a small voice.”

Pelton also maintained that a privatized ATC system would not have any regulatory responsibility and the public would have no appeal system before Congress as it does now. A privatized airspace system would also not meet technology and modernization goals claimed by proponents of removing air traffic operations from the FAA, while at the same time creating an entirely new non-government bureaucracy with no accountability to Congress or the American people.

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