Washington, DC – The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) today issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget proposal on shifting the air traffic control function of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to an independent, non-governmental organization.
Removing the U.S. air traffic control system from the FAA could create negative impacts for aviation safety, rural and small communities, national security, and air traffic control modernization as well as for other important regulatory reform efforts. The FAA air traffic control system is the safest, most efficient, largest, and most complex in the world. To a degree not found in other countries, the economic health and vitality of numerous businesses and communities, small and large, depend on the U.S. aviation system. We must not weaken this strong foundation.
Additionally, while there is rightfully a focus on making the FAA work more efficiently and effectively, discussion about removing the air traffic control operation has impeded the implementation of other necessary reforms like certification which are known to deliver efficiency and safety benefits. Certification reform efforts can have an immediate, positive impact for the U.S. economy and the creation of American jobs and should not wait on air traffic control discussions.
Many of the challenges with this type of air traffic control reform proposal have been thoughtfully outlined in recent letters by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and the leaders of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. We agree with Secretary Chao and Senators Klobuchar and Moran that before any action is taken, there needs to be a dialogue among all stakeholders, including civil and defense users of the National Airspace System, to achieve national consensus on any potential changes to the U.S. air traffic control system. We need to be certain that as we try to solve specific problems, we do not create others.
We look forward to this dialogue while working expeditiously with the Administration and the U.S. Congress to ensure the advancement of certification reform, general aviation manufacturing and the nation’s aviation system.