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ATC privatization would add almost $100 billion to deficit

Congressional Budget Office increases cost estimate of 21st Century AIRR Act

The Congressional Budget Office revised its cost estimate of the 21st Century AIRR Act (H.R. 2997), which would remove air traffic control from the FAA, to say the legislation would increase the deficit by almost $100 billion. The new analysis is an increase of nearly $80 billion from the previous evaluation.

The Capitol is home to the U.S. Congress and its House and Senate. The legislative branch has significant influence over general aviation. Photo by David Tulis.

AOPA President Mark Baker said, “$100 billion. Really? So here’s how it shapes up: The legislation would hand over the air traffic control system to the airlines, who are behind in equipping with the latest technology and responsible for 50 percent of delays; it would create a too-big-to-fail monopoly; and now it will cost taxpayers almost $100 billion to create a new system when the one we have is the envy of the world.”

AOPA and 130 other GA groups have spoken out against privatization, including notable industry leaders like Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger.

A number of economists also have recently voiced their opposition to the legislation, calling it “cronyism” and saying it is not truly privatization. Max Sawicky, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, said the proposal was “bad business.”

“How can anyone think this is a good idea?" Baker asked. "Imagine if we used that effort and money to continue modernizing an incredibly safe and efficient system. Then we’d really have something.”

AOPA is asking members, pilots, and supporters to contact their representatives in the House by calling 855/383-7330. Privatization opponents also can email their representatives.

Discuss ATC privatization with other pilots in the AOPA Hangar.

AOPA Communications staff

AOPA Communications Staff are communicators who specialize in making aerospace, aviation and advocacy information relatable for all.

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