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NATA Offers House Its Views On Air Traffic Control Reform & AIRR Act

NATA Offers House Its Views On Air Traffic Control Reform & AIRR Act
Radical change to FAA’s organizational structure and funding poses risks to the safe and stable nature of the world’s best air traffic control system

Washington, DC, February 9, 2016 – Today, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) provided members of the House Transportation Committee its views on air traffic control reform and H.R. 4441, the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act.  The centerpiece of the AIRR Act is the creation of a user fee-funded, federally chartered, not-for-profit air traffic control corporation.  The Corporation’s fees will be determined by a Board of Directors dominated by the major airlines.  

In its statement, NATA expressed opposition to the legislation’s proposal to create an air traffic control corporation, observing that a more focused set of policy initiatives will better achieve the Committee’s aims. NATA President and CEO Thomas L. Hendricks contrasted general aviation’s concerns over the creation of such a corporation with the support offered by major airlines noting, “The Corporation’s proposed leadership structure provides major airlines the confidence they seek to control a future air traffic control system primarily for their benefit.  Absent Congressional oversight, this proposed construct risks unconstrained cost increases being passed along to other users of the system.”  

Hendricks concluded, “While maintaining the status quo risks our nation’s supremacy in aviation, it is equally true that radical change to the FAA’s management structure and funding poses even greater risks, including to the safe and stable nature of the world’s best air traffic control system.  NATA regrets that it cannot support a bill that however well intended, will not in its current form, achieve the policy goals it was created to address.”

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NATA, the voice of aviation business for 75 years, is the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.

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