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Former Thunderbirds, Blue Angels join the fight against ATC privatizationFormer Thunderbirds, Blue Angels join the fight against ATC privatization

What do astronauts, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and former Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger have in common? They all oppose the so-called privatization of air traffic control.

In a new video released by the International Council of Air Shows Inc., six former team leads for the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels military flight demonstration teams speak out against H.R. 2997, the legislation that would remove ATC from the FAA and turn it over to the airlines.

The military team commanders are the latest to speak out against the bill. Miracle on the Hudson hero Sullenberger shared his message in a video he filmed for no compensation, and Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell spoke out in a video featuring former NASA astronauts saying that the legislation would “put the traveling public at unnecessary risk.”

In the latest video, the fighter pilots share their concerns with the proposed bill, stating that it would not reduce delays, accelerate modernization, or enhance safety; instead, they assert it would add billions to the U.S. national debt. “We know firsthand that the air traffic control system in our country is the safest, largest, most diverse, and most efficient in the world,” says Capt. Steve Foley, who was the commanding officer of the Blue Angels in 2005 and 2006.

AOPA Air Safety Institute Executive Director Richard McSpadden, a former Thunderbirds commander and flight demonstration team leader, was also featured in the video and spoke about the impeding threats should H.R. 2997 pass. “We need your help to stop this legislation that will damage our country's economy and endanger a critical element of our transportation infrastructure.”

AOPA is asking members, pilots, and supporters to continue to contact their representatives in the House by calling 855/383-7330 or visiting AOPA’s call-to-action page about H.R. 2997.

AOPA Communications staff

Topics: Advocacy, Airspace, ATC

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