December 28, 2017 — The coming new year will again focus general aviation’s efforts in Washington, D.C., on ATC privatization.
The combined forces of general aviation and the grassroots efforts of pilots everywhere made a big difference against a formidable, well-financed lobbying machine in 2017, as the threat of ATC privatization was slowed. While GA can be heartened by that accomplishment, it also means that privatization supporters — namely, the nation’s airlines and their lobbyists — will again be pushing to take control of the nation’s air traffic system in 2018.
“General aviation proved that the little guy can be heard in Washington, but it takes a tremendous amount of work when going against the tens of millions of dollars spent by the airline lobby,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. “Your voice is absolutely needed, whether you own an ultralight or a homebuilt, fly in a local flying club, or benefit your small business through general aviation. ATC privatization benefits just one group: the nation’s airlines and their profits. It does not benefit those airlines’ passengers, or small local airports, or general aviation whatsoever. It is, as has been said before, a bad solution in search of a nonexistent problem.”
EAA and other GA groups continue to bring the facts to legislators on Capitol Hill. That includes that airline delays and overcrowding are overwhelmingly caused by weather and the airlines’ own overscheduling. In addition, numerous nonpartisan watchdog agencies have noted that ATC privatization will add a projected $100 billion to the federal deficit, will not speed up modernization, and could well be unconstitutional.
Direct contacts with your lawmaker’s local office are always the most effective. To find out who your representatives are and for more information, go to ATCNotForSale.com or EAA’s Rally Congress website.