Below is an email sent from Ed Bolen, CEO of NBAA in response to significant developments in the FAA Reauthorization Bill. WAA encourages you to Contact Congress and oppose a privatized ATC funded with user fees.
In my year-end message to NBAA's membership, I indicated that the battle over a privatized ATC funded with user fees was looming. At this point, the battle has moved from looming to imminent.
News outlets are reporting that leaders on the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee "are eyeing mid-February to mark up an FAA overhaul bill," and that "a House GOP aide said they have been told to get ready for Feb. 11."
In terms of what will be in the bill, House T&I Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-9-PA) was quoted as saying that passing an aviation reauthorization bill is "a top priority" and that "he will propose transferring authority over the air traffic control system from the FAA to a new non-profit, non-government entity overseen by aviation industry stakeholders," and "funded with user fees."
Meanwhile, an opinion piece authored by House Representatives and pilots Sam Graves (R-6-MO) and Todd Rokita (R-4-IN) was published yesterday in The Hill newspaper, which appears to support Chairman Shuster's plans for FAA reauthorization. A copy of that opinion piece is attached to this email.
Twenty four hours after the opinion piece was published, a group of 15 general aviation organizations, including NBAA, sent a letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the T&I Committee and its Aviation Subcommittee noting that "the general aviation community has very real and long-standing concerns about foreign air traffic control models, which go well beyond the user fee issue," and calling on the Committee leaders to provide "ample opportunity to carefully review, analyze and debate any proposed legislation changing the governance and funding for air traffic control." A copy of that letter, and the press release sent out accompanying it, are attached.
NBAA continues to keep the industry apprised of important FAA reauthorization developments, and mobilized in voicing our concerns. Last week, I hosted a webinar to provide the latest details; a link to that webinar is here, if you'd like to listen to it:
In addition, we were very active in bringing a delegation of member companies to Washington, DC, to brief members of Congress about our concerns regarding the situation. We produced and posted on our website a write up about the briefing, and a link to that write up is here:
Below are the two documents mentioned above, both the opinion piece and the response letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the T&I Committee and its Aviation Subcommittee.
GA Industry Press Release and Letter FINAL 011916.pdf
The Hill oped 011816.pdf