A recent letter to the editor [Oct. 9, “UTC, Stand Up For Safer Skies”] was off the mark when it comes to the debate over privatizing air traffic control.
First, there is really only one industry that is aggressively pushing for privatization of air traffic control — the commercial airlines.
They are doing so because the bill to privatize air traffic control, H.R. 2997, would peel the air traffic control system away from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and put it under the control of a board dominated by the commercial airlines, while consumers, smaller airports, communities and pretty much everyone else would lose out. The airlines would be empowered to run air traffic control for their own benefit, further eliminating service to small town communities, increasing and pocketing taxes now paid to the government, and shutting out low-cost competitors.
Moreover, the airlines continue to experience high-profile delays and technological glitches, which are the No. 1 cause of delays. So why would we turn over our system to them to supposedly run it more efficiently? That’s why leading passenger and consumer organizations, mayors, Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, and rural groups all oppose privatization.
Our nation’s public aviation infrastructure is a vital part of our national infrastructure that supports our economy, integrates with our military airspace, and ensures that all Americans have access to our aviation system.
The only way to ensure that the system works in the best interest of the American people is the make it accountable to the American voters.
The writer is the manager of the Simsbury Airport.