Survey Finds General Opposition to ATC Privatization

 - September 17, 2015, 11:46 AM

A new survey of 800 registered voters suggests that most support privatization of government functions, but would be against the privatization of the air traffic control system. The survey revealed, “There is no appetite for privatizing the nation’s air traffic control system,” said Jefrey Pollock, president of Global Strategy Group (GSC), which conducted the survey on behalf of the Alliance for Aviation Across America, the League of Rural Voters and the Air Care Alliance.

The survey found that 51 percent of respondents either strongly supported or somewhat supported privatizing government functions. Another 34 percent either somewhat or strongly opposed privatization. However, when asked if they would support separating the air traffic control system and turning it over to a nonprofit corporation, 29 percent either strongly or somewhat supported, while 55 percent expressed at least some level of opposition.

The respondents further gave the FAA high marks for its operation of the nation’s air traffic control system, with 55 percent saying the agency does a good job and another 22 percent saying the agency does an excellent job. Only 14 percent gave a negative response, primarily “not so good.” The FAA received a 67-percent overall positive job rating, ranked second among agencies behind the U.S. Postal Service. The Transportation Security Administration, by contrast, received a 46-percent rating, and the Securities and Exchange Commission a 40-percent rating. “It’s not that there is an anti-privatization [sentiment],” Pollock said, but “nobody wants to change horses when things are going well.”