‘Leading Aviation Experts’ Call For Privatized ATC

 - September 20, 2007, 12:19 PM

The Reason Foundation has assembled a group of nine “leading aviation experts”–including former DOT Secretary Jim Burnley, former FAA Administrator Langhorne Bond and former NBAA president Jonathan Howe–that is calling for “significant changes” to the U.S. ATC system. According to the libertarian think tank, these experts warn that without serious reforms, the air traffic system will be unable to accommodate growing air travel, forcing the U.S. to ration its airspace. Reason said the group wants a privatized air traffic organization (ATO) that is run like a business, separated from the FAA and “funded by a steady, reliable revenue stream that isn’t subject to politics.” The group’s position on aviation user fees is fuzzy, but it would like the ATO to be “funded directly by aviation customers.” It also suggests that the ATO be allowed to consolidate, reorganize and improve its facilities and equipment to better accommodate users, as well as reconfigure airspace consistent with NextGen capabilities. The Reason Foundation has been advocating a privatized U.S. ATC system for more than 10 years.