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Miracle on the Hudson Pilot Sullenberger Speaks Out Against ATC Privatization
Airline and military veteran calls plan a threat to freedom of flight
July 21, 2017 — Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, whose vast flying experience saved the lives of more than 150 people when he safely landed a crippled airliner on the Hudson River in January 2009, has come out strongly against any plan to privatize the nation’s air traffic control services, calling it a threat to the freedom of flight.
Sullenberger first made his comments last week in an interview with Katie Couric, noting that countries with privatized air traffic systems are now “too restrictive or expensive” to allow viable general aviation systems.
“We have a wonderful and unique freedom in this country, this unfettered, wonderful aviation system that anyone can participate in safely and efficiently,” said Sullenberger, who also served as co-chairman of EAA’s Young Eagles program from 2009 until 2013.
“That’s something that we need to protect and preserve, and so why in the world would we give the keys to the kingdom to the largest airlines? Because they definitely have their own agenda to lower their costs,” he continued.
Sullenberger is so firm in his position that he appeared in video ads urging citizens to oppose ATC privatization. Those ads can be seen at the atcnotforsale.com website.
All EAA AirVenture Oshkosh attendees are urged to attend an ATC privatization town hall session on Monday, July 24, at 11:30 a.m. at EAA’s Theater in the Woods. There, leaders from EAA, AOPA, GAMA, and NBAA will discuss the facts of the ATC privatization issue and why it would devastate general aviation.
Oshkosh attendees will also see volunteers with “Modernization NOT Privatization” shirts throughout the grounds during AirVenture week, assisting guests with information to contact their lawmakers on the issue.