The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) recently clarified its opinion about air traffic control reform with the Senate Commerce Committee.
NATA remains skeptical about proposals that are designed to alter the organizational structure of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The organization especially questions the wisdom of dividing air traffic from the safety oversight arm of the FAA.
“The committee should build on its excellent work begun in the last reauthorization and continue to assist the agency toward a more efficient operating structure,” Thomas Hendricks, NATA president and CEO, said. “We believe it is possible to develop and deploy cutting-edge technology within the government structure, and this is already occurring at the FAA.”
The comments came before the committee's FAA Reauthorization: Air Traffic Control Modernization and Reform hearing on Monday.
“We are particularly concerned by Business Roundtable’s corporatization proposal – what we view as a classic example of logrolling,” Hendricks said. “Entirely funded via user fees and controlled in perpetuity by a board of industry insiders, general aviation would find itself in constant peril and the traveling public paying ever-increasing fees."
Hendricks warned the committee that radical changes to the FAA could spell trouble for the aviation industry.
“While maintaining the status quo risks our nation’s supremacy in aviation, it is equally true that radical change to the FAA’s management structure and funding poses equal risks, including to the safe and stable nature of the world’s best air traffic control system,” Hendricks said.