EAA Airventure 2014GA Groups to Congress: ATC Reform More Than Just User Fees; Request Sufficient Time to Review and Debate Bill

PRESS RELEASE - WASHINGTON, DC, January 19, 2016 – With Congress preparing to consider FAA reauthorization legislation this session, a host of general aviation association leaders today joined together to send letters to House transportation leaders underscoring “real and longstanding concerns” regarding a concept being pushed by some big airlines regarding air traffic control governance and funding.

Specifically, the organizations cited concerns over a proposal promoted by some big airlines for the creation of “a new governance and funding model for our nation’s aviation system, based on systems in other parts of the world.

“The general aviation community has very real and long-standing concerns about foreign air traffic control models, which go well beyond the user fee issue,” the letter states. “These concerns are based on our operating experiences in foreign systems, as well as thoughtful analysis about what those systems might look like in the United States.”

The Air Care Alliance, Aircraft Electronics Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Commemorative Air Force, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, International Council of Air Shows, National Agricultural Aviation Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials, National Air Transportation Association, National Business Aviation Association, Recreational Aviation Foundation, Seaplane Pilots Association and Veterans Airlift Command sent their joint letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-9-PA), Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-4-OR), T&I Aviation Subcommittee Chair Frank LoBiondo (R-2-NJ) and Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-2-WA).

January 19, 2016

The Honorable Bill Shuster Chairman
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
U.S. House of Representatives Washington,D.C. 20515

The Honorable Frank LoBiondo Chairman
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation Washington,D.C. 20515

The Honorable Peter DeFazio Ranking Member
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Rick Larsen Ranking Member
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member DeFazio, Subcommittee Chairman LoBiondo and Subcommittee Ranking Member Larsen,

Our associations represent the individuals and companies that make up a significant portion of the diverse and interrelated general aviation industry in the United States. This is an industry that generates more than one million jobs, and more than $200 billion for the nation’s economy. It is worth noting that the majority of all general aviation in the world today takes place in the U.S. Simply put, general aviation in America is the envy of the world.

Today, the U.S. air traffic control system is the best in the world, moving more aircraft, more safely and efficiently, than any other country. Working with Congress, aviation stakeholders have been able to ensure that our system operates for the public’s benefit, providing access for all stakeholders to airports, heliports and airspace, and encouraging competition and innovation.

During the FAA reauthorization process, some big airlines have pushed for a new governance and funding model for our nation’s aviation system, based on systems in other parts of the world. The general aviation community has very real and long-standing concerns about foreign air traffic control models, which go well beyond the user fee issue. These concerns are based on our operating experiences in foreign systems, as well as thoughtful analysis about what those systems might look like in the United States.

Because we have so much at stake in the FAA reauthorization process, and given the magnitude of the change that we anticipate being proposed, we call on you as Committee leaders to provide ample opportunity for all stakeholders and citizens to carefully review, analyze and debate any proposed legislation changing the governance and funding for air traffic control.

Sincerely,

Air Care Alliance
Aircraft Electronics Association
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

Commemorative Air Force
Experimental Aircraft Association
General Aviation Manufacturers Association

Helicopter Association International

International Council of Air Shows
National Agricultural Aviation Association

National Association of State Aviation Officials

National Air Transportation Association

National Business Aviation Association

Recreational Aviation Foundation
Seaplane Pilots Association
Veterans Airlift Command

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