NFFE Members and American Air Travel Safety at Risk with Shuster’s FAA Privatization Plan
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing on “The Need to Reform FAA and Air Traffic Control to Build a 21st Century Aviation System for America,” in which Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) advocated for the privatization of the Federal Aviation Administration and its Air Traffic Control system.
Under Shuster’s ATC “modernization” plan, a private board made up of executives from airline corporations would be given the assets of the air traffic control system as well as oversight over all its operations. This would give the airlines a monopoly over the market and nearly limitless power to raise taxes and fees on consumers without any congressional oversight or public accountability. In addition to likelihood of new fees and taxes, access to airports and gates for general aviation and small competitors would be driven by the airlines’ priorities, instead of the common interests of the general aviation community and the American people.
FAA employees design, install, manage, operate and maintain, safely fly two million passengers to and from their destinations on approximately 70,000 flights per day. The U.S. aviation industry is a cornerstone of the American economy, contributing $1.5 trillion to the economy each year and supplying more than 10 million American jobs.
“The United States has the safest, largest, and most complex aviation system in the world and that system should continue to be operated solely for the public’s benefit and safety, not for the benefit of special interests that will operate the privatized system,” stated Randy Erwin, NFFE National President. “NFFE is working hard with its union coalition partners and with like-minded industry partners to educate Capitol Hill on the inherent dangers of privatizing the air traffic control system.”
Read NFFE’s Union Coalition letter to the Committee, here.