Bolen: ATC Privatization Fight Is Not Over

 - February 7, 2018, 1:43 PM
NBAA head Ed Bolen makes his case for continued pushback against FAA privatization efforts, at the opening session of the organization's Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference in Long Beach, California.

NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen, taking a cue from this year’s Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference theme of “Pursue Your Passion,” urged attendees at the show to channel their passion for the industry into standing strong against continued efforts to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system. Speaking during the opening session Wednesday, Bolen noted that the legislation, introduced last June, has not made it to the House floor for vote, but it remains a concern. The bill's sponsors have shown no indication of backing down ahead of a March 31 deadline to reauthorize the FAA. He called the legislation a "breathtaking power grab" and described a major lobbying effort that has been going on for the past six months on Capitol Hill on behalf of the airlines.

“The big number is 218,” Bolen told the audience, “because 218 is the number of people voting in the House of Representatives needed to pass legislation, so the big airlines are working furiously to try to pass their legislation, trying to find 218 votes.”

Bolen urged the S&D community to once again contact their elected representatives through conduits such as, to express their opposition to the bill.