The NBAA and the Alliance for Aviation Across America are praising a survey, released by CNBC on June 19, revealing widespread opposition to a proposal – long pushed by the big airlines – for giving oversight of air traffic control (ATC) to a new entity, governed by a private board of directors.
Proposals for privatizing ATC have been promoted as part of the ongoing congressional debate over the reauthorization of funding and programs for the FAA.
CNBC’s “All America Economic Survey,” conducted by Hart Research Associates, asked 800 respondents about a host of issues related to the economy, government policy priorities and other matters. The results, which the network aired yesterday, showed that 53 percent of survey respondents said privatizing ATC would be a “bad idea,” while only 33 percent felt it was a “good idea.”
“As Congress debates FAA reauthorization, this survey provides a critical reminder that by a nearly two-to-one margin, Americans continue to oppose ATC privatization,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Clearly, voters have real and significant concerns about this concept, which would take aviation decision-making out of the hands of the elected officials who represent the public’s interest, and hand sweeping authority over to a group of private interests.”
Bolen noted that previous surveys have consistently shown similar levels of opposition to ATC privatization among citizens. Concerns over the idea have also been raised by a host of aviation groups, organizations on the political left and right, elected officials at the federal and local levels and others.
“The American people have once again spoken, and they are clear that they believe that putting private, big-airline interests in charge of the air traffic control system is a bad idea,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America.
The margin of error for the CNBC survey was plus-or-minus 3.5 percent. It included a cross-section of political views, with 37 percent of respondents identifying as moderate, 34 percent as conservative and 21 percent as liberal.