Privatization is the age-old right-wing response to imagined problems.
But if a public function like preventing plane crashes is transferred to corporations, the result could mean tragedy.
A threat to our wallets and flight safety, the air traffic control privatization effort currently underway in Congress is another move by right-wing lawmakers to deliver a favor for corporate interests while ignoring the consequences for consumers.
This week, Public Citizen joined with our partners in the Americans Against Air Traffic Privatization coalition to deliver more than 130,000 petition signatures to members of Congress demanding that air traffic control stay under federal government purview and not be spun off to a new corporatized entity.
The air traffic control system is neither broken nor bankrupt, and the only uncertainty in its running is the confusion instigated by Congress around Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding reauthorizations. The solution to the funding issue is not to privatize air traffic control but to give the FAA the stability it deserves.
Instead of focusing just on long-term funding, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) introduced the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act (AIRR Act, H.R. 4441) last week that would drastically change the existing system if passed. The bill would reauthorize the FAA for six years, while also creating a brand new corporate entity to oversee air traffic control — a model with significant flaws and no advantages over our current system.