5 Things You Need to Know About ATC Reform

Published By #ModernSkies

Former U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan wrote a piece in The Hill making a clear and compelling argument for air traffic control reform. He also outlines what ATC reform is not, despite what opponents are claiming. While serving in the Senate, he was the chairman of the Commerce Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee and most recently he co-chaired the ATC Reform project at the Eno Institute, which looked at how best to accelerate moving to a modern system. The Eno Institute project concluded that the best approach would be the creation of a “federally chartered, not-for-profit organization to manage a new, modern U.S. air traffic control system just as many other countries do today.”

The five things Sen. Dorgan makes clear about ATC reform are:

  1. It’s not privatization.
  2. Our ATC is the safest in the world, but that doesn’t mean it can’t improve.
  3. The way the current system is funded and run is broken.
  4. Independence from the FAA would strengthen ATC.
  5. NextGen needs a way forward.

As Dorgan wrote, “Getting this right will advance U.S. leadership in aviation while making the safest air travel system in the world even better: more choices, more direct trips, lower fuel consumption and reduced air emissions.”

Read the full piece here. It’s a quick and educational read.

FAA Reforms Will Benefit General Aviation Community

Published by #ModernSkies

In an effort to derail the AIRR Act, advocates for the status quo would have you believe that the legislation would harm America’s valued general aviation community.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Modernizing the air traffic control infrastructure would help general aviators by providing a greater margin of safety and efficiency. Since most general aviation facilities in this country exist in smaller communities, outside of major airports, the current infrastructure often lags behind their big-city counterparts. The AIRR Act would free ATC managers from the Byzantine procurement rules of the FAA and introduce innovations that will improve the level of service for many in the general aviation sector.

Finally, some have tried to scare general aviators into believing this new system will cost them money. The truth is that noncommercial fliers will be exempt from the user fees under the AIRR Act and will continue to fund airport improvements the same way they always have via fuel taxes.

As the general aviation community continues to examine the AIRR Act, they will discover just how much it will benefit them and support America’s culture of flying.


Washington Post Again Endorses Air Traffic Control Overhaul

Posted by #ModernSkies

The Washington Post could not have said it more clearly with this editorial headline: “The government should get out of the air traffic control business.

The Post’s editorial makes clear why the United States should move away from the government-managed approach:

“Countries are turning away from this statist model. Canada spun off its system, Nav Canada, in 1996, to a private entity funded by user fees. Britain privatized in 2000. Australia and New Zealand are also part of the movement; ditto Germany and Switzerland, lest anyone think it’s English-speaking nations only.”

If we want a more modern air traffic control system in the U.S., the only way to achieve that is through an independent, not-for-profit organization freed from the archaic procurement restrictions of the federal government and the endless budgetary battles.

The Post notes why the foreign models have worked so well:

“In all of these countries, safety and innovation have stayed the same or improved, which is not surprising, as the new model separates regulation from operation.”

This sensible approach will work well for Americans, too. It will help to reduce delays, improve efficiency, and fuel the economy – all while maintaining our nation’s enviable safety record.

What’s not to like about that? You may read the full editorial here.