NBAA, NATA Raise Concerns about ATC Separation from FAA

 - May 19, 2015, 9:54 AM

Both the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and National Air Transportation Association (NATA) submitted comments today to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation during a hearing about FAA reauthorization and ATC reform. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, National Air Traffic Controllers Association president Paul Rinaldi and industry representatives testified at the hearing. NATA expressed “doubts about proposals to change the organizational structure of the FAA, particularly questioning the advisability of separating air traffic from the FAA’s safety oversight arm as well as the potential threat such proposals pose to America’s vibrant general aviation community.” 

NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen urged congressional lawmakers not to abdicate their constitutional responsibility over aviation taxes and fees, as well as decisions about access to airports and airspace, as part of reauthorization of the FAA. He added, The authority over taxes and access to airspace and airports belongs to Congress under the Constitution, and it is an authority that cannot be delegated.

In its comments, NATA supported efforts to “inject more private-sector practices into the FAA.” NATA president and CEO Thomas Hendricks said, “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. We believe it is possible to develop and deploy cutting-edge technology within the government structure, and this is already occurring at the FAA.”