Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi) and Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), as well as Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Chairman Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island), recently sent a letter to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation opposing privatizing the nation’s air traffic control system.
The letter comes as airlines have redoubled their lobbying efforts to take away Congressional oversight of the air traffic control system and put it under a board dominated by private interests.
According to the letter:
The public would not be well-served by exempting any part of the FAA from annual congressional oversight. A privatized system would provide consumers with no recourse for complaints or mistreatment, as it currently does through the Department of Transportation or their members of Congress. The annual appropriations process provides the oversight of agency resources necessary to ensure accountability for program performance and a sustained focus on aviation safety.”
In addition, the letter states, ”annual oversight also ensures that the FAA maintains a system that works throughout the aviation industry, including for general aviation, small and rural communities, commercial airlines, and large metropolitan cities.”
The full letter can be viewed here.