The following is a statement by National Air Transportation Association President and CEO, Thomas L. Hendricks, following the recent release by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. The Committee is expected to consider the legislation on Feb. 11.
“NATA cannot support the legislation’s proposal to create a federally chartered, not-for-profit air traffic control corporation. We have been quite clear throughout the development of this legislation that we will not support ‘leap of faith’ proposals that place the fate of any segment of general aviation — in this case the air charter community — in the hands of a yet-to-be-determined board of directors — especially given the fact that this segment of general aviation is denied a voice in the corporation’s governance. A user-fee funded ATC corporation, controlled in perpetuity by a board of industry insiders, will place general aviation in constant peril, starve rural America of access to cutting-edge technology, and saddle the travelling public with ever increasing fees.
NATA understands and respects the process that Chairman Shuster undertook to develop this legislation. We also acknowledge the legislation contains many provisions that reflect NATA’s suggestions for making the FAA a more efficient organization. While we agree with the Chairman that maintaining the status quo risks our nation’s supremacy in aviation, this draft legislation poses even greater risks — to the safe and stable nature of the world’s best air traffic control system and America’s vibrant general aviation community.”