Local Communities Raise Concerns Regarding Proposal to Privatize the Air Traffic Control System
February 4, 2016
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  • Washington—Today, the Alliance for Aviation Across America, along with many of its local members, voiced concerns about a proposal unveiled yesterday by Chairman Bill Shuster of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and privatize the air traffic control system. Local businesses and communities have specifically been concerned with the repercussions of ceding unprecedented levels of control to a private board with the authority dominate important decisions about everything from gates, access to airspace and airport funding, to infrastructure investments and new fees and taxes.

    Local businesses and officials from rural communities in particular have raised concerns about any proposals to take away Congressional oversight over our air traffic control system. In response, Mayor John Manchester of Lewisburg, WV; Mayor Joe Gunter of Salinas, CA; Mayor Stephen Galliher of Sedalia, MO; Mayor Rita Albrecht of Bemidji, MN; Mayor Steve Williams of Huntington, WV; and Mayor Jerry Toomey of Mitchell, SD issued the following statement and joined the growing chorus of concerned citizens and communities weighing in against this proposal:

    “We are opposed to any proposal which would take away Congressional oversight over our air traffic control system.  In a privatized system dominated by commercial interests, consumers and smaller communities would come last – these are citizens who have already faced record fees, cuts to air service by 20%, and are getting crammed into smaller and smaller seat spaces. In addition, sectors such as general aviation support jobs, business, agriculture, charitable activity, law enforcement and medical services will be negatively impacted by this proposal. Congressional oversight of the aviation system is necessary to ensure that our air transportation system remains a public benefit and serves communities of all sizes.”

    Formed in 2007, the Alliance for Aviation Across America is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of more than 6,300 individuals representing businesses, agricultural groups, FBO’s, small airports, elected officials, charitable organizations, and leading business and aviation groups that support the interest of the general aviation community across various public policy issues.