By CJP Executive Director Andrew Broom
Earlier this year, we joined with 15 other general aviation association to send letters to House and Senate transportation leaders underscoring concerns about a recent proposal to privatize oversight of the nation’s air traffic control (ATC) network. While we don’t often take a formal position on political matters, the issue of privatization carries significant implications for Citation pilots and the rest of general aviation.
According to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), “President Trump’s budget proposal to privatize oversight of air traffic control (ATC) services would strip congressional oversight of this country’s airports and airspace, and instead place that control in the hands of a private board that would likely be dominated by airline interests. It isn’t difficult to imagine that, under such a system, airline operations would dominate over GA operations.”
We were the only owner/pilot type group to sign the letters, which cited concerns over a proposal promoted by some big airlines for the creation of “a new governance and funding model for our nation’s aviation system, based on systems in other parts of the world.
“The general aviation community has very real and long-standing concerns, which include but are not limited to user fees,” the letter stated. “These concerns are based on our operating experiences in these foreign systems and the impact they have had on general aviation.”
In addition to CJP, the letters were signed by the Air Care Alliance, Aircraft Electronics Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Commemorative Air Force, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, International Council of Air Shows, National Agricultural Aviation Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials, National Air Transportation Association, National Business Aviation Association, Recreational Aviation Foundation, U.S. Parachute Association, and Veterans Airlift Command.
The letters were sent to House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-9-PA), Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-4-OR), T&I Aviation Subcommittee Chair Frank LoBiondo (R-2-NJ) and Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-2-WA), as well as Senate Commerce Committee Chair John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Aviation Subcommittee Chair Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
We will keep you informed as this proposal is debated in Congress. Most importantly, CJP will continue to fight to ensure that undue burdens or fees are proposed that will adversely affect our members.