With the need to authorize the FAA before Sept. 30, 2017, a number of general aviation association leaders joined together to send letters to House and Senate transportation leaders underscoring “real and long-standing concerns” about a concept being pushed by some airlines regarding air traffic control.
Specifically, the GA organizations cited concerns over a proposal to create “a new governance and funding model for our nation’s aviation system, based on systems in other parts of the world.”
“The general aviation community has very real and long-standing concerns, which include, but are not limited to, user fees,” the letter states. “These concerns are based on our operating experiences in these foreign systems and the impact they have had on general aviation.”
The letters were signed by officials with the Air Care Alliance, Aircraft Electronics Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Citation Jet Pilots, Commemorative Air Force, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, International Council of Air Shows, National Agricultural Aviation Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials, National Air Transportation Association, National Business Aviation Association, Recreational Aviation Foundation, U.S. Parachute Association and Veterans Airlift Command.
The letters were sent to House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA), Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), T&I Aviation Subcommittee Chair Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA), as well as Senate Commerce Committee Chair John Thune (R-SD) and Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Aviation Subcommittee Chair Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
These letters support the concerns expressed last week by EAA CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton, responding to news that the White House included an endorsement of privatizing air traffic control services in its budget proposal.
“Under such a system, ATC would be overseen and managed by a board made up of commercial interests, with the nation’s airlines having the most powerful and numerous voices,” Pelton said last week. “These interests would inevitably drown out whatever token representation and economic impact GA would have on such a board, creating an ATC system that would serve commercial interests with the greatest financial resources.”