USPA has joined a coalition of 15 general aviation associations in letters to Congress in strident opposition to the Trump administration’s proposal to privatize air traffic control. The Trump budget, released last week, proposes to end air traffic control as a government function of the Federal Aviation Administration and convert it to a private corporation. All general aviation groups are opposed to the concept, which grants airlines a majority position on the private board that would run the corporation. An airline-driven board could be expected to make decisions that would favor airline access to airports and airspace over general aviation access. Currently, FAA air traffic control is based on a policy of first-come, first-served. A privatized ATC could also be expected to push for user fees on operators who use the ATC system, including jump operators.
“The general aviation community has very real and long-standing concerns, which include but are not limited to user fees,” said the GA group in a letter to the chairmen and ranking minority members of the House and Senate transportation committees and their aviation committees. USPA has pledged to continue working with the other aviation groups to ensure that air traffic control remains a government function.