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AOPA and ATC Privatization



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 2nd 03, 07:06 PM
Chip Jones
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Default AOPA and ATC Privatization

My AOPA membership comes up for yearly renewal at the end of September.
Today, I got a membership renewal request via email from the organization.

Here is my response:



Dear AOPA,

The question arises. Why should an FAA enroute air traffic controller who
is neither a pilot nor an aircraft owner continue to financially support
AOPA? AOPA has publicly accused my labor organization (NATCA) of misleading
other AOPA members concerning the looming Congressional action on ATC
privatization.

AOPA has been running the following quotes on the AOPA website:

"AOPA members are asking about TV ads claiming that Congress is about to
privatize air traffic control. Others have been asked to sign post cards
misrepresenting both AOPA's position and what Congress has done. Both the
ads and the cards are the efforts of labor unions. And both are bending the
truth."

NATCA is not misleading the flying public on this issue. NATCA factually
reports that the Congress is about to authorize ATC privatization by
allowing the FAA to offer 69 FAA air traffic control towers to the lowest
private sector bidder. Some of these towers are among the busiest towers in
the nation. The pending FAA reauthorization bill's language is clear and
not subject to misinterpretation or wishful thinking. It will authorize the
FAA to contract out ATC services to the lowest bidder. Further, after the
year 2007, all FAA air traffic services will be on the table for possible
out sourcing. Privatization is privatization. There is no bending of the
truth involved.

"Make no mistake. AOPA is adamantly opposed to any effort to privatize air
traffic control or charge user fees for safety services," said AOPA
President Phil Boyer. "We have fought, and will continue to fight, attempts
to take the responsibility for aircraft separation and control away from the
federal government " and "If anybody tries to tell you that AOPA supports
privatizing ATC, you tell them that's a damned lie," Boyer said. "AOPA is
dedicated to the benefit of all general aviation, particularly GA pilots.
It's a much broader vision than that of a union leader."

What a bunch of hot air! That AOPA can swallow the rest of the current FAA
reauthorization bill before the Congress in spite of the clear language
authorizing ATC privatization seems to point to one of two things. Either
AOPA is extremely short sighted or else AOPA is bending the truth herself on
this issue. National ATC privatization is a clear threat to general
aviation interests, yet AOPA seems willing to allow such privatization to
begin, piece by piece, tower by tower, because the "rest of the bill" is
beneficial to GA. Not with my money...

I will gladly renew my AOPA dues if you can convince me that AOPA is on the
right side of the current ATC privatization issue.

Chip Jones
AOPA 04557674
Atlanta ARTCC


For even money, I'll betcha they don't even answer me...




Ads
  #2  
Old September 2nd 03, 07:17 PM
Ron Natalie
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"Chip Jones" wrote in message news:__45b.16414

The question arises. Why should an FAA enroute air traffic controller who
is neither a pilot nor an aircraft owner continue to financially support
AOPA?


I'm asking myself the same question.


  #3  
Old September 2nd 03, 10:23 PM
Snowbird
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"Chip Jones" wrote in message thlink.net...
My AOPA membership comes up for yearly renewal at the end of September.
Today, I got a membership renewal request via email from the organization.


Here is my response:

...
For even money, I'll betcha they don't even answer me...


Well, let us know.

Cheers,
Sydney
  #4  
Old September 2nd 03, 11:58 PM
PaulaJay1
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Default

In article , Stan Gosnell
writes:

My AOPA membership comes up for yearly renewal at the end of
September. Today, I got a membership renewal request via email from
the organization.


Chip, I long ago gave up on AOPA, and dropped my membership years ago. The
organization takes some positions I just don't understand and can't
support, and seems very short-sighted. I don't belong to the NRA, either,
so maybe I'm in the minority on all this.


Stan,
You shouldn't expect an organization that has such a mix of members to always
take a position that you support. I feel the AOPA lobbies for our GA interests
most of the time, and heaven knows, there are powers that are not on our side.
Closing airports, TFRs, you name it. Washington is run by lobbies and money
interests and I want to be represented - even if not perfectly. Chip, on the
other hand, may have a point it that the AOPA may not represent him.

Chuck
  #5  
Old September 3rd 03, 03:02 AM
Scott Lowrey
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"Chip Jones" said
"Peter Duniho" wrote in message
...

I'm with Ron. Given the name of the organization, why SHOULD you

support
them?


LOL, I suppose I was naive enough to assume that AOPA's interests in
protecting GA's public access to the NAS went hand in hand with my public
service as a NAS ATC operator. Alas, I fear I was mistaken.


Hang in there, Chip. Is there a controller's association I can join? : )

-Scott


  #6  
Old September 3rd 03, 03:45 AM
Capt. Doug
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Ron Natalie wrote in message I'm asking myself the same question.

Upon first glance, it may seem that a controller's interest in this matter
would be self-preservation. However, Mr. Jones may well be one of us in the
future. So...

Let's look at the bigger picture. If 69 towers go private, safety may or may
not be compromised. However, what will be compromised is the ability of AOPA
members to fend off USER FEES in the future. The federal budget is in bad
shape. It's worse than the published figures. The Whitehouse administration
is working extremely hard for the economy to stay contained until the next
election is secure. After the election, the economy will break. The
administration will be more than happy to foist the cost of ATC services
onto all of us.

D.


  #7  
Old September 3rd 03, 04:20 AM
Steven P. McNicoll
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"Scott Lowrey" wrote in message
news:[email protected]

Hang in there, Chip. Is there a controller's association I can join? : )


ATCA, the Air Traffic Control Association.


  #8  
Old September 3rd 03, 04:23 AM
Peter Duniho
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"Chip Jones" wrote in message
link.net...
You are inclined to be wrong in that case. In fact, the entire Democratic
apparatus in the Congress seems to disagree with AOPA's position

concerning
whether or not the reconciled "Vision 100- Century of Aviation
Reauthorization Act" does or does not privatize ATC. Not a single

Democrat
on the reconciliation committee signed the bill because ATC privatization
was strong-armed into the law by the Administration even though both

Houses
of the Republican-controlled Congress expressly voted against ATC
privatization earlier this summer. See the above links.


I asked for quotes. I know how to get the bill. But you're the one who's
saying it privitizes ATC. Show me where it says that.

I looked at the quotes Mark provided. All I see is language that
*prohibits* the privitization of ATC, but which makes clear that the
*existing* contract tower program is still legal.

Since you are so sure of yourself, perhaps you could explain what language
is found elsewhere in the bill that overrides the language presented so far.

Thanks,
Pete


  #9  
Old September 3rd 03, 04:34 AM
Chris W
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Default

Snowbird wrote:

Stan,

I guess I feel having a significant interest group lobbying for us
is important enough, that it's worth overlooking some positions
with which I disagree, or rather, making my disagreement clear.

Do you know any two people who agree on all significant positions
all of the time? Some disagreement just seems inevitable to me,
especially in a large organization.


I have to second that. With out AOPA where would we be? Just because they aren't in my opinion
perfect, doesn't mean they don't deserve my support. They do a lot of good.


--
Chris Woodhouse
Oklahoma City

"They that can give up essential liberty
to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1759 Historical Review of Pennsylvania


  #10  
Old September 3rd 03, 04:37 AM
Snowbird
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Default

Darn it, missed my cue!....

"Chip Jones" wrote in message thlink.net...

The question arises. Why should an FAA enroute air traffic controller who
is neither a pilot


You can fix that any day, Chip

Sydney
 




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