GA Group Says It’s Another Tax Giveaway
For months, the big airlines have been pouring millions into an aggressive lobbying campaigns to try to convince Congress to privatize air traffic control and hand over control over this massive infrastructure to them and other private interests. As part of this campaign, they have disingenuously tried to make the case that this was not about control or shifting the tax burden onto others. But time and time again, they have showed their true motives for pushing for privatization.
In a news release, the Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA) says that in a recent piece in the The Hill, privatization proponent Ian Adams argues in favor of a recent proposal to privatize air traffic control by saying it would reallocate the tax burden among the “fees its users pay,” including general aviation. This, after months of the airlines saying that privatization is not about shifting their taxes onto others. Another recent article by Drew Johnson attacked general aviation for not paying enough taxes into the air traffic control system, even though the President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Union and others have pointed out that general aviation’s use is equivalent to what they pay into the system.
AAAA says this is all part of the airlines’ decades-long track record of raking in greater profits on the backs of consumers and general aviation, all so they can further pad their bottom line and control and run the air traffic control system for their benefit. For example, in 2016 alone, the U.S. airlines collected $7.1 billion in fees for baggage and changes or cancellations to reservations according to the Department of Transportation, they have shrunk space to near-inhumane levels, and have cut routes to small-airports by 20% according to the Government Accountability Office.
Meanwhile, the AAA says that in a meeting earlier this year with President Donald Trump and other airline CEOs, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly admitted that the problem with the air traffic control system. “Well, we’re not in control. And I think that’s one of the things that we see as the path to having success, is we need to address the fundamental organization of the air traffic organization.”
In addition, Kelly continued to highlight the airlines’ desire for control and management of the air traffic control system, saying, “we want the government out of managing the air traffic control system.”