Privatizing air traffic controllers will fundamentally destablize air travel in the United States.

AAATP Statement on the Introduction of the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act

Washington, DC  – Today, Americans Against Air Traffic Privatization released the following statements:

Julia Alschuler, Spokesperson for AAATP, said:

“Chairman Shuster’s proposal to privatize the ATC will dismantle a system already working to make much needed modernizations and will leave Americans vulnerable to an organization controlled by the airline industry.

“This isn’t a new idea. Time and time again, Congress has deemed removing the ATC from the FAA a bad bet for the American people; today is no different. The AIRR Act empowers airlines with control of a private entity and has created a carve-out that will mean CEOs fly for free, while middle class families pay ever-increasing costs to travel. America’s government works because our representatives are able to advocate for their constituents. What this proposal does is remove Congress from the table, and replaces representation with private interests. Indeed, instead of the reasonable Congressional oversight we currently have, this new position gives twice as many seats on the board to airlines than any other group gets.”

Andrea Miller, Executive Director of People Demanding Action, said:

“The AIRR Act is the wrong solution to the wrong problem. This is a manufactured crisis brought on by Republicans in Congress, who instead should be working to restore stable funding and address the budget gaps created by sequestration. The air traffic control system isn’t broken—indeed it is one of the safest in the world. Stability and efficiency can be improved by simply passing a long-term funding plan instead of creating a separate entity that leaves American travelers without a seat at the table.

“Chairman Shuster has gotten both the policy and the process wrong. While lawmakers in both chambers and sides of the aisle continue to raise their concerns over removing the ATC from the FAA, Chairman Shuster has laid out a rushed process to push through a plan for privatization that leaves little time for the type of deliberative process that American air travelers deserve. Rep. Shuster may be hoping that no one notices his attempt to push this through with little debate. Unfortunately for Rep. Shuster, the 130,000 Americans who signed our petition against privatization noticed, and are determined to fight this proposal every step of the way.”

About Americans Against Air Traffic Privatization (AAATP)
Americans Against Air Traffic Privatization (AAATP) is comprised of several groups that represent millions of Americans. Founding members include Public Citizen, People Demanding Action, Daily Kos and the Courage Campaign. The coalition will advocate on behalf of passengers and the middle class workers who keep them safe by pushing to retain Air Traffic Control operations under the FAA. Public Citizen and Daily Kos each launched online petitions in December, and given the overwhelming response, the coalition is launching to ensure that there was an ongoing and concerted effort to remind Congress that Americans oppose privatization schemes.

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