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Wed, Apr 25, 2018

UPDATE: The Dirtiest of Washington Politics? -- ATC Privatization By Deception?

Stunning, Deceptive, Dirty Politics... Shuster Is At It Again, But This Time We Need To React FAST!

ANN RealTime News Update, 04.24.18, 2302 ET: Well... initial info suggests that the Shuster deception may have hit a wall... but PLEASE keep up the pressure in case this devious anti-aviation political animal has yet another trick in mind. Politico is reporting that, "A controversial provision to give the secretary of Transportation authority over the the chief operating officer of the FAA's air traffic organization has been stripped out of the FAA bill, according to a House aide and an industry lobbyist." There are some suspicions that Shuster may yet try to protect some of the measures he was trying to institute in order to cozy up to his airline buddies, but for the moment, keeping the pressure on seems the right thing to do... we'll keep you updated as we learn more.

Original Report, 04.24.18, 1417 ET: Over the last few hours, we've been reading through and studying the myriad of details and additions that are being crammed, at the VERY last minute, into the upcoming FAA Reauthorization Bill. Unfortunately; the ever-deceptive Rep. Shuster is using the chaos of these last minute changes and inclusions to screw GA... and the rest of aviation... in one of the most unAmerican stunts we've seen a politician pull in many years... and that's saying something!

Our contacts at ICAS and EAA have already done a pretty thorough 'deep dive' on the effort, by Shuster, to dump a pseudo-ATC Privitization scam on the aviation world at the last minute -- and after such efforts were roundly defeated in the past.

ICAS notes that, "Later today, the Rules Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives will meet to determine what amendments will be allowed during floor consideration of H.R. 4.

One parliamentary item that is customary with comprehensive measures going to the House floor is the ability for the Manager(s) – in this case, Chairman Shuster - to offer an amendment which revises and addresses the content of the bill (attached). Sometimes the manager’s amendment is technical in nature and other times it is substantive. In the case of the Manager’s Amendment for H.R. 4, offered by Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), the amendment includes Section 5, FAA Organization Reform, which resurrects Chairman Shuster’s longstanding goal of privatizing the U.S. Air Traffic Control system. 

Section 5 of the manager’s amendment seeks to create an Aerospace Management Advisory Council and creation of a Chief Operating Officer that oversee the air traffic control system and the provision of air navigation services. This would effectively sever air traffic management and control from the FAA and place it directly under the Secretary of Transportation. The Advisory Council, COO, and Secretary would be able to review and issue recommendations on rulemaking and cost benefit analysis, procurement, advisory circulars or service bulletins, among other things. The membership of the Advisory Council would consist of 13 members, include designees from the Department of Transportation and Defense, Air Traffic Controllers, Passenger Air Carriers, Cargo Air Carriers, Regional Air Carriers, General Aviation, Airports, Commercial Pilots, and new entrants to the aerospace industry. It raises many of the safety issues and accountability issues present in the original ATC privatization proposal, as the air traffic management and safety oversight and certification would be in different organizations.  

Given this proposal has many of the same pitfalls as previous privatization efforts, it is concerning that the U.S. House may quickly consider the amendment without much debate or opportunity to question the merits."

We urge ANN readers and viewers to reach out to your Members of Congress IMMEDIATELY (NOW) and encourage them to share with their leadership that the inclusion of this provision in the manager’s amendment is problematic and undermines bipartisan efforts to move an FAA Reauthorization forward. 

This link https://www.house.gov/representatives provides phone numbers for the offices of all members of the U.S. House of Representatives. We encourage you to find the phone number for your Representative and call his/her Washington, D.C. office immediately.

EAA has already started going to war over this, as well...

“This is a devious, backroom maneuver after public and congressional opinion showed to be solidly against ATC privatization and caused the withdrawal of the original bill,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO & chairman of the board. “This is reckless, punitive policymaking that circumvents any public input. We believe that was exactly the intent of this amendment at this time.”

EAA and other general aviation organizations immediately issued a letter to House leadership and members, urging them to drop Section 5 of Shuster’s amendment to H.R. 4 — the provision that includes the advisory council.

In addition, EAA is urging its members to immediately contact their House representatives to oppose the amendment by calling them as soon as possible, as the bill may be considered as early as Wednesday, April 25. Use EAA’s Rally Congress website or the ATCNotForSale.com website to contact your congressional representatives immediately.

“This type of shady politics is exactly why EAA remained vigilant as the FAA reauthorization bill was taking shape,” Pelton said. “We must react immediately so an ATC privatization stage is not set through a so-called ‘advisory council’ dominated by the nation’s largest airlines.”

ANN CEO/E-I-C Note: Folks... do whatever you have to do to fight this low, underhanded, deceptive, unAmerican political BS... it's the worst sort of political betrayal... and is in direct defiance of the expressed will of the industry and the nation.

FMI: www.eaa.org, www.airshows.aero, https://www.house.gov/representatives, EAA’s Rally Congress website, ATCNotForSale.com

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