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AOPA Prez Testifies Against ATC Privatization

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Old October 2nd 19, 04:04 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Default AOPA Prez Testifies Against ATC Privatization


AOPA Prez Testifies Against ATC Privatization
Marc CookOctober 1, 20190

Last week, AOPA President Mark Baker appeared before the Senate
Aviation and Space subcommittee to advocate against privatizing air
traffic control. Baker told the committee that privatizing ATC would
not reduce delays or speed up modernization, plus it could adversely
affect smaller airports.

“As you know, the past two years were spent dealing with a proposal
calling for the privatization of our ATC system,” Baker told the
subcommittee. “I don’t want to speak for others here today, and I
could be wrong, but I don’t believe anyone wants to revisit the issue
that has and will continue to divide us. We have seen where ATC
privatization hasn’t worked well for general aviation in other
countries and we don’t want to go down that path.”

For his part, chairman of the committee, Sen. Ted Cruz, said, “I want
to make clear from the start that, while I’m sure the air traffic
control reform efforts of previous Congresses are on the minds of all
of our witnesses today, that’s not what this hearing is about. While
those efforts and the members who engaged in them—including the
ranking member of this subcommittee—showed bold leadership in
challenging the status quo, we are not here today to rehash old
fights. The purpose of the hearing to examine the current landscape,
to discuss what works and what doesn’t, and what you, the
stakeholders, like and don’t like, and to open a new avenue for

AOPA has steadfastly pushed back against privatization while reminding
the committee that general aviation is a “workforce engine.” To that
end, Baker testified that the government should fully fund workforce
development programs “created in the 2018 FAA reauthorization act.”
Baker said, “As the Committee is aware, in order to meet bold
challenges, we need bold initiatives. Recognizing this, I am hopeful
the Committee will work with Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and others
to establish a National Center for the Advancement of Aviation. We
strongly believe standing up such a center will facilitate
cooperation, collaboration, and coordination across all sectors of
aviation—civil, commercial and military—and which is so desperately

Baker also called on the committee to encourage the FAA to offer
another round of rebates to help drive the final fence-sitters toward
ADS-B Out compliance, which is mandated by Jan. 1, 2020. Currently,
the FAA has filled all the available rebate slots, while the fleet is
looking to be at much less than full compliance by the deadline. And
that’s even with avionics shops seeing strong demand for
installs—demand that outstrips their capacity to complete the jobs by
year’s end.


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