NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen indicates just how many days remain until the House vote on a airline-backed measure to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system. (Photo: Matt Thurber/AIN)

At Bizav Forum, CEO Urges Action Ahead of ATC Vote

With the impending vote on a measure to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system scheduled in the U.S. House of Representatives, airline-funded ads attacking business aviation are flooding the Washington, D.C. airwaves, according to National Business Aviation Association president and CEO Ed Bolen. Speaking recently at the NBAA Regional Forum at New Jersey’s Morristown Municipal Airport, he described the measure—HR 2997, the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act—as a power grab by the airlines.

Bolen Issues Warning Call on ATC Privatization

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Bolen Issues Warning Call on ATC Privatization

The NBAA head says this latest attempt to float the privatization scheme may be the most serious yet.

“We are an industry at war, and our future is dependent on how we survive that,” he said, urging everyone in the industry to contact congressional representatives and urge them to defeat the measure. To facilitate that, a website, atcnotforsale.com was developed by a broad-based coalition of general aviation organizations including NBAA, AOPA, NATA, and HAI. “In the 25 years I’ve been in the industry, this is probably the most significant threat we’ve had,” noted Bolen. “If this bill passes the House, every day it gets over another hurdle, it gets stronger, not weaker, so our best chance to stop it is to stop it early.”

The one-day forum, which occupied two of Signature Flight Support’s hangars, featured 160 exhibitors and nearly 30 aircraft in the static display, and attracted more than 2,400 visitors.

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