Monday, June 5, 2017
USPA today joined a host of powerhouse general aviation associations in a joint letter to President Trump expressing concerns for his administration’s proposal to remove air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration and hand it over to a private, non-profit corporation. President Trump made the announcement this morning in a press event at the White House. The privatization plan is supported by the major airlines but opposed by virtually every general aviation group—from pilots to aircraft owners and aircraft manufacturers, flight schools, repair shops, charter companies and business aviation users—and skydivers. As described by the President, new user fees would be enacted for the privatized ATC, replacing the current aviation fuel taxes that jump operators currently pay toward the ATC system. Every jump flight is required to be in communication with ATC, and USPA is concerned that a per-flight user fee would increase the cost of skydiving. Moreover, jump flights currently enjoy the FAA ATC’s required “first-come, first-served” mandate, which is likely to disappear if ATC is privatized.