NATA President to Georgia Airports Association: Airports Must Join with GA to Defeat “Airlinization” of ATC System

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

National Air Transportation Association President Martin H. Hiller encouraged the Georgia airports community to join general aviation’s effort to defeat the airline industry initiative to take over the air traffic control system. Hiller served as a panelist at the 2017 Annual Georgia Airports Association Conference and Exposition in Savannah, GA.

In Hiller’s remarks, he discussed H.R. 2997, legislation authored by House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system. Hiller emphasized the importance of unity within the aviation business community, “If there is one message to be taken away from today, it is that airports must join with their tenants and engage with their local Members of Congress if we are to prevent the ‘airlinization’ of our air traffic control system.”

Hiller explained, “Turning over the air traffic control system to the airlines will result in diminished investment in the nation’s air traffic control infrastructure. You have already seen how the airlines fight the PFC [Passenger Facility Charge] increases that larger airports need – imagine when airlines begin reducing investment in air traffic control infrastructure at general aviation airports to a map solely meeting the needs of their route structures.”

“The House legislation purports to protect general aviation access, but what will happen instead is the airlines will use the ATC corporation to reduce timely and efficient access to the locations business aviation needs to serve – your airports – thereby, reducing its value proposition. Long-term, the airlines want object-based pricing, in other words, shifting their costs to general aviation,” Hiller added.