Mon, Jun 16, 2003
Reason: It Would Prevent ATC Privatization
The White House is threatening to veto the FAA reauthorization
bill because it would prohibit the FAA from privatizing air traffic
control. The bill, approved by the US House of Representatives last
week, includes language from Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) that would
prohibit outsourcing air traffic control to the private sector.
"If the final legislation includes provisions that would
inappropriately prohibit the conversion of FAA facilities or
functions from the federal government to the private sector, the
President's senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill,"
according to a "statement of Administration policy" from the White
"The Administration's tough stance leaves nothing to the
imagination of those of us in aviation who fear a privately run air
traffic system — not to mention the airline control of such
— and the fees that would go with privatization," said AOPA
President Phil Boyer. "It's clear what their agenda really is."
All This Fuss Over That?
understand why they would be willing to veto a $59 billion bill
over just that language," said James Morhard, Democratic spokesman
for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as
reported by GovExec.com. "This suggests that they really are
planning substantial changes to the air traffic system that they
don't want us to forestall," he said.
That despite previous assurances from FAA, including a memo from
Administrator Blakey to agency employees, that controllers aren't
candidates for outsourcing.
"The Administration can protest all it wants that it has no
plans to contract out air traffic control," said Boyer, "but the
fact that they're willing to threaten a veto of a FAA spending bill
that contains so many good things for aviation over this language
makes clear their real intent. Privatized air traffic control and
the user fees that go with it is one of the three biggest concerns
among our 400,000 members."
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