NATA President Discusses Dangers of ATC Privatization to General Aviation
“Within a few years, you would no longer recognize GA in America”
Washington, DC, October 10, 2017 – This morning, National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President Martin H. Hiller joined a panel including other general aviation association leaders to discuss the airline industry initiative to take over the air traffic control system. The panel took place at the No Plane No Gain Media Kick-Off Breakfast held during the NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas.
The focus of the discussion was H.R. 2997, legislation authored by Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system. Hiller described the legislation as “the airlinization of air traffic control. Under the bill, the corporation is completely funded by the airlines and in the eyes of the airlines, there is no difference between a 737 and a piston twin. The reality is that it's a long-term plan where the airlines want to cost-shift. In that construct, the death of GA [General Aviation] comes not abruptly the day the bill is signed into law, but rather like dusk turning to night. Within a few years, you will no longer recognize GA in America.”
Attributing repetition as the most effective tool in securing the engagement of the aviation business community with their elected representatives, Hiller stated, “Let’s be honest, this proposal has been debated at least four times since the 1990s. But this time, GA stands alone and the airlines have undertaken their most serious, sustained effort to date. You have to keep educating your members, not only on the dangers the proposal poses to general aviation, but also the seriousness of the effort we are confronting.”
Hiller encourages all members of the general aviation community to continue calling or communicating with Congress using NATA’s special website www.nata.aero/actioncenter or by calling 833-GAVoice (833-428-6423). “NATA’s government affairs team and those of my colleagues are all working hard to convince Members of Congress to oppose the bill. Our groups work closely in D.C. and in congressional districts, the intermingling of our memberships have created a powerful organization. But this battle will be won only if pilots, aeronautical service providers and airports all across the country let Congress know how detrimental this proposal is to the general aviation community,” Hiller concluded.
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The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for over 75 years. Representing nearly 2,300 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies. For more information about NATA, please visit www.nata.aero