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Riley

Logan Riley

Celizic

GSW 1100

10 October 2017

Air Traffic Control Privatization

Only in recent months, members of Congress introduced a new bill which will

dramatically shift the future of general and commercial aviation communities. In fact, many

general aircraft associations, such as AOPA and EAA, believe this could be the death of general

aviation operations if the bill is passed. This bill, proposed by Representative Shuster, will

“transfer operation of air traffic services currently provided by the Federal Aviation

Administration to a separate not-for-profit corporate entity” (House Rept. 2). This allows air

traffic control to be privatized by select corporations throughout the United States. This is a

concerning issue due to the fact that those select airlines will be able to push their own interests

in order to increase their profits. The Federal Aviation Administration must remain in control of

our air-traffic to ensure safety throughout the United States. United States’ Congress should vote

against air-traffic control privatization because airline monopolization will delay the

modernization of radar systems, decrease the efficiency of air-traffic, and increased fees will be

imposed on general aviation aircraft. Furthermore, a privatized air-traffic control, operated by

the airlines, will prioritize their own aircraft operations and undercut smaller traffic.

In the article: ATC Privatization is Unconstitutional Ed Bolen, CEO of the National

Business Aviation Association, describes how a privatized air-traffic control governed by airlines
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2

would “prioritize a certain class/type of aircraft (commercial airlines) over another (general

aviation).” Of course, airlines such as Southwest or American will have certain interests in mind

while conducting business. This will mainly include increasing their efficiency and increasing

profits. This means if an airport is not meeting a certain number of landings required to bring

profit to the corporation, then they can terminate air-traffic control services to that specific

airport. This will undoubtedly occur throughout our nation filled with small, general aviation

airports. Additionally, since the ATC system is monopolized, then there will not be another

corporation to provide air-traffic services to that airport. This will inevitably endanger

operations of airports which need air-traffic control but do not have enough ticket sales to make

it a reasonable investment for the corporation. On the other hand, government controlled ATC

give out subsidies to smaller airports that do not have a lot of traffic. This is necessary due to the

fact that many smaller airports offer flights to larger airports in order to get to a faraway

destination (regional airlines).

Secondly, a privatized air-traffic control system will be able to limit the operations of

smaller aircraft in certain airspace which commercial operations are present. For example, if

commercial airline operations are present over a class Charlie airport, then ATC is allowed to

deny other aircraft admittance into class Charlie airspace. This would be beneficial to airlines

since they have the airspace all to themselves and can arrive at their destination earlier.

Unfortunately, this would leave general aviation aircraft to avoid certain areas and often times

pilots will have to go around a large area to get to their destination. Additionally, this poses a

very dangerous situation to pilots of small aircraft. Pilots required to go around an airspace may

not have enough fuel for the unexpected rerouting, this can result in an emergency and crash.

Also, pilots forced out of controlled airspace will not be detected on radar. This means that air-
Riley
3

traffic controllers cannot inform these pilots of terrain avoidance, aircraft avoidance, and

separation or when other aircraft are on their route.

According to the article, Canada’s Experience with ATC Privatization the transition from

a Canadian government ran ATC to a privatized air-traffic control was successful transition

“representing broad interests” and “integrating public safety into its operational structure”

(Floyd). This motivates many United States’ Congress members to mimic Canada’s and

Germanys’ privatized air traffic systems. However, these privatized systems increase pointless

fees for general aviation aircraft. For example, a privatized ATC will have to establish landing

fees in order to pay for their equipment and employees. This means if a small plane lands at an

airport, then the pilot must pay a landing fee which could escalate depending on the number of

passengers he or she has onboard. In return, pilots try to stretch the limits of their plane in order

to make the lowest number of fuel stops possible. This decreases safety and reliability of ATC.

Additionally, privatized air-traffic control can charge pilots on certain types of flight plans while

en route to a destination. A Flight plan is an intended route published by the pilot for his or her

flight. As a result, pilots will not fly with a flight plan and increase the risk of flying.

As stated before, U.S Congress like to use NavCanada as a successful example of ATC

privatization. In return, some Congress members believe ATC privatization is the correct path

for the United States. However, Canada’s air traffic infrastructure is not at the level as the

United States currently. When Canada made the switch to privatization over two decades ago,

the infrastructure was not nearly as developed as ours is today. If we privatized air traffic control,

the United States government would be giving over “18 billion dollars of ATC systems and

facilities” to a private corporation (Bolen). Billions of taxpayer dollars would be thrown out the

window. To make matter worse, pilots would essentially be paying additional fees for the
Riley
4

equipment, fees we already paid through taxes! Lastly, some commercial airline ticket prices

would increase in price due to the new expenses airlines would face. This would mean a certain

airline, not in control of ATC, may be charged a larger landing fee, essentially targeted.

Additionally, certain airports which are used regularly by airlines who control ATC may not

have a landing fee because their airlines are mainly operated out of that area.

The Federal Aviation Administration does a phenomenal job of managing our air-traffic

throughout the United States. Why do we need to fix a system which is not broken? Air travel is

the safest form of transportation due to the diligent work of air traffic controllers. Although

airlines complain that ATC radar is outdated, the FAA regularly attempts to modernize the

industry with new radar and GPS technology. In fact, the FAA is requiring pilots to equip their

aircraft with ADS-B GPS technology by the year 2020. Furthermore, Airlines are usually

equipped with outdated equipment for precision instrument approaches, while general aviation

aircraft have up- to- date technology. Modernization of ATC would not be solved if it were

privatized. This is due to the fact that the transition period to switch from government regulated

ATC to privatized ATC would take multiple years, which would not include any progressive

movements towards an increase in technology. The corporations will have to focus on running a

successful and safe program, not the future technology. Of course, this will take multiple years

before aviation will collectively be upgraded to precision GPS technology, such as WAAS (wide

area augmentation system). Air traffic control under the FAA will prove to modernize the

industry which will make aviation safer.

According to Aviation Week and Space Technology, in the editorial: U.S. Needs Air

Traffic Services Reform, the privatized ATC systems in other countries have shown to be “more

efficient” and shown more “modernization” throughout air travel. However, privatized air traffic
Riley
5

control does show an increase in efficiency of air travel operations. In fact, the main airline and

general aviation delay is the weather. It has nothing to do with outdated ATC equipment. The

second air traffic delay is caused by the airlines. The airline companies schedule their departure

and arrival times based on peaks and troughs of air travel demand. This causes traffic jams in the

sky and delays aircraft arrivals.

Lastly, events such as EAA AirVenture will most likely be canceled due to lack of air

traffic controller availability. AirVenture is celebrated in Wisconsin, over ten thousand planes fly

into the Oshkosh airport and attend a massive airshow lasting seven days. This is the largest air

show in the world and constantly motivate young individuals to become pilots. A “private ATC

operator is unlikely to provide the 85 qualified controllers necessary to run the annual event”

(Flight Intl.). Events such as this will become less common due to the fact that airshows do not

generate the most amount of profit for a corporation. As a result, nonprofits such as the EAA

will have a more difficult time conducting operations to promote aviation. For example, the EAA

will not be able to allow children to go up in an airplane at a “young eagle’s event” or the EAA

will lack the ability to provide up to date information on general aviation.

The United States’ Congress must not pass this bill which would undoubtedly weaken

general aviation while promoting the interests of airlines. This is not ATC privatization, this is an

air traffic monopoly which allows select airlines to push their agenda and make the most profit

possible. Although Congress and many others believe NavCanada and other foreign ATC

entities have been a success, it will cost the United States’ government billions of dollars. Lastly,

ATC privatization will demolish events which support youth involvement in aviation. In

conclusion, air-traffic privatization would have a negative impact on the United States air

transportation system and general aviation community.


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6

Work Cited

"Bill to Privatize ATC May Spell End of Airventure." Flight International, vol. 192, no. 5598,

8/1/2017, p. 19. EBSCOhost

Bolen, Ed. "ATC Privatization Is Unconstitutional." Air & Space Lawyer, vol. 30, no. 2,

Summer2017, pp. 8-17. EBSCOhost

Mann, Jr., Robert W. "Opinion: The Case for ATC Privatization in U.S. Is Weak." Aviation

Week & Space Technology, 20 Mar. 2017, p. 22. EBSCOhost

"Editorial: U.S. Needs Air Traffic Services Reform." Aviation Week & Space Technology, 12

June 2017, pp. 1-2. EBSCOhost

Floyd, Patrick, et al. "Canada's Experience with ATC Privatization." Air & Space Lawyer, vol.

30, no. 2, Summer2017, pp. 23-26. EBSCOhost

United States. Cong. House Rept. ATC Privatization 2017. 115th Cong. 2nd sess.

S. H.R. 2997. Web. 28 September 2017


Riley
7

Logan Riley

Celizic

GSW 1100

10 October 2017

Revised Air Traffic Control Privatization

Only in recent months, members of Congress introduced a new bill which will

dramatically shift the future of general and commercial aviation communities. In fact, many

general aircraft associations, such as AOPA and EAA, believe this could be the death of general

aviation operations if the bill is passed. This bill, proposed by Representative Shuster, will

“transfer operation of air traffic services currently provided by the Federal Aviation

Administration to a separate not-for-profit corporate entity” (United States 2). This allows air

traffic control to be privatized by select corporations throughout the United States. This is a

concerning issue due to the fact that those select airlines will be able to push their own interests

in order to increase their profits. The Federal Aviation Administration must remain in control of

our air-traffic to ensure safety throughout the United States. United States’ Congress should vote

against air-traffic control privatization because airline monopolization will delay the

modernization of radar systems, decrease the efficiency of air-traffic, and increased fees will be

imposed on general aviation aircraft. Furthermore, a privatized air-traffic control, operated by

the airlines, will prioritize their own aircraft operations and undercut smaller traffic.

In the article: ATC Privatization is Unconstitutional Ed Bolen, CEO of the National

Business Aviation Association, describes how a privatized air-traffic control governed by airlines

would “prioritize a certain class/type of aircraft (commercial airlines) over another (general

aviation).” Of course, airlines such as Southwest or American will have certain interests in mind
Riley
8

while conducting business. This will mainly include increasing their efficiency and increasing

profits. This means if an airport is not meeting a certain number of landings required to bring

profit to the corporation, then they can terminate air-traffic control services to that specific

airport. This will undoubtedly occur throughout our nation filled with small, general aviation

airports. Additionally, since the ATC system is monopolized, then there will not be another

corporation to provide air-traffic services to that airport. This will inevitably endanger

operations of airports which need air-traffic control but do not have enough ticket sales to make

it a reasonable investment for the corporation. On the other hand, government controlled ATC

give out subsidies to smaller airports that do not have a lot of traffic. This is necessary due to the

fact that many smaller airports offer flights to larger airports in order to get to a faraway

destination (regional airlines).

Secondly, a privatized air-traffic control system will be able to limit the operations of

smaller aircraft in certain airspace which commercial operations are present. For example, if

commercial airline operations are present over a class Charlie airport, then ATC is allowed to

deny other aircraft admittance into class Charlie airspace. This would be beneficial to airlines

since they have the airspace all to themselves and can arrive at their destination earlier.

Unfortunately, this would leave general aviation aircraft to avoid certain areas and often times

pilots will have to go around a large area to get to their destination. Additionally, this poses a

very dangerous situation to pilots of small aircraft. Pilots required to go around an airspace may

not have enough fuel for the unexpected rerouting, this can result in an emergency and crash.

Also, pilots forced out of controlled airspace will not be detected on radar. This means that air-

traffic controllers cannot inform these pilots of terrain avoidance, aircraft avoidance, and

separation or when other aircraft are on their route.


Riley
9

As stated before, U.S Congress like to use NavCanada as a successful example of ATC

privatization. In return, some Congress members believe ATC privatization is the correct path

for the United States. However, Canada’s air traffic infrastructure is not at the level as the

United States currently. When Canada made the switch to privatization over two decades ago,

the infrastructure was not nearly as developed as ours is today. If we privatized air traffic control,

the United States government would be giving over “18 billion dollars of ATC systems and

facilities” to a private corporation (Bolen). Billions of taxpayer dollars would be thrown out the

window. To make matter worse, pilots would essentially be paying additional fees for the

equipment, fees we already paid through taxes! Lastly, some commercial airline ticket prices

would increase in price due to the new expenses airlines would face. This would mean a certain

airline, not in control of ATC, may be charged a larger landing fee, essentially targeted.

Additionally, certain airports which are used regularly by airlines who control ATC may not

have a landing fee because their airlines are mainly operated out of that area.

The Federal Aviation Administration does a phenomenal job of managing our air-traffic

throughout the United States. Why do we need to fix a system which is not broken? Air travel is

the safest form of transportation due to the diligent work of air traffic controllers. Although

airlines complain that ATC radar is outdated, the FAA regularly attempts to modernize the

industry with new radar and GPS technology. In fact, the FAA is requiring pilots to equip their

aircraft with ADS-B GPS technology by the year 2020. Furthermore, Airlines are usually

equipped with outdated equipment for precision instrument approaches, while general aviation

aircraft have up- to- date technology. Modernization of ATC would not be solved if it were

privatized. This is due to the fact that the transition period to switch from government regulated

ATC to privatized ATC would take multiple years, which would not include any progressive
Riley
10

movements towards an increase in technology. The corporations will have to focus on running a

successful and safe program, not the future technology. Of course, this will take multiple years

before aviation will collectively be upgraded to precision GPS technology, such as WAAS (wide

area augmentation system). Air traffic control under the FAA will prove to modernize the

industry which will make aviation safer.

According to Aviation Week and Space Technology, in the editorial: U.S. Needs Air

Traffic Services Reform, the privatized ATC systems in other countries have shown to be “more

efficient” and shown more “modernization” throughout air travel (2). However, privatized air

traffic control does show an increase in efficiency of air travel operations. In fact, the main

airline and general aviation delay is the weather. It has nothing to do with outdated ATC

equipment. The second air traffic delay is caused by the airlines. The airline companies schedule

their departure and arrival times based on peaks and troughs of air travel demand. This causes

traffic jams in the sky and delays aircraft arrivals.

Lastly, events such as EAA AirVenture will most likely be canceled due to lack of air

traffic controller availability. AirVenture is celebrated in Wisconsin, over ten thousand planes fly

into the Oshkosh airport and attend a massive airshow lasting seven days. This is the largest air

show in the world and constantly motivate young individuals to become pilots. A “private ATC

operator is unlikely to provide the 85 qualified controllers necessary to run the annual event”

(Flight Intl. 19). Events such as this will become less common due to the fact that airshows do

not generate the most amount of profit for a corporation. As a result, nonprofits such as the EAA

will have a more difficult time conducting operations to promote aviation. For example, the EAA

will not be able to allow children to go up in an airplane at a “young eagle’s event” or the EAA

will lack the ability to provide up to date information on general aviation.


Riley
11

Although ATC privatization proves to have many disadvantages, Canada demonstrates a

working air traffic system which utilizes privatization. According to the article, Canada’s

Experience with ATC Privatization the transition from a Canadian government ran ATC to a

privatized air-traffic control was successful transition “representing broad interests” and

“integrating public safety into its operational structure” (Floyd 24). This motivates many United

States’ Congress members to mimic Canada’s and Germanys’ privatized air traffic systems.

However, these privatized systems increase pointless fees for general aviation aircraft. For

example, a privatized ATC will have to establish landing fees in order to pay for their equipment

and employees. This means if a small plane lands at an airport, then the pilot must pay a landing

fee which could escalate depending on the number of passengers he or she has onboard. In

return, pilots try to stretch the limits of their plane in order to make the lowest number of fuel

stops possible. This decreases safety and reliability of ATC. Additionally, privatized air-traffic

control can charge pilots on certain types of flight plans while en route to a destination. A Flight

plan is an intended route published by the pilot for his or her flight. As a result, pilots will not

fly with a flight plan and increase the risk of flying.

The United States’ Congress must not pass this bill which would undoubtedly weaken

general aviation while promoting the interests of airlines. This is not ATC privatization, this is an

air traffic monopoly which allows select airlines to push their agenda and make the most profit

possible. Although Congress and many others believe NavCanada and other foreign ATC

entities have been a success, it will cost the United States’ government billions of dollars. Lastly,

ATC privatization will demolish events which support youth involvement in aviation. In

conclusion, air-traffic privatization would have a negative impact on the United States air

transportation system and general aviation community.


Riley
12
Riley
13

Work Cited

Bill to Privatise ATC May Spell End of Airventure. Flight International, vol. 192, no. 5598,

8/1/2017, p. 19. EBSCOhost,

ezproxy.bgsu.edu:8080/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db

=iih&AN=124398486&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 28 September 2017

Bolen, Ed. ATC Privatization Is Unconstitutional. Air & Space Lawyer, vol. 30, no. 2,

Summer2017, pp. 8-17. EBSCOhost,

ezproxy.bgsu.edu:8080/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db

=a9h&AN=125205330&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 28 September 2017

Editorial: U.S. Needs Air Traffic Services Reform. Aviation Week & Space Technology, 12 June

2017, pp. 1-2. EBSCOhost,

ezproxy.bgsu.edu:8080/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db

=voh&AN=124085452&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 27 September 2017

Floyd, Patrick, et al. Canada's Experience with ATC Privatization. Air & Space Lawyer, vol. 30,

no. 2, Summer2017, pp. 23-26. EBSCOhost,

ezproxy.bgsu.edu:8080/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db

=a9h&AN=125205333&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 27 September 2017


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14

Mann, Jr., Robert W. Opinion: The Case for ATC Privatization in U.S. Is Weak. Aviation Week

& Space Technology, 20 Mar. 2017, p. 22. EBSCOhost,

ezproxy.bgsu.edu:8080/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db

=a9h&AN=122434430&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 28 September 2017

United States, Congress, House Representatives, Committee on Transportation and

Infrastructure. Hearing on ATC Privatization. Government Printing Office, 2016 115th

Congress, 2nd session. Accessed 27 September 2017


Riley
15

Logan Riley

Celizic

GSW 1100

28 September 2017

Rough Draft

ATC Privatization

Only in recent months, members of Congress introduced a new bill which will

dramatically shift the future of general and commercial aviation communities. This bill,

proposed by Representative Shuster, will “transfer operation of air traffic services currently

provided by the Federal Aviation Administration to a separate not-for-profit corporate entity”

(House Rept. 2). This allows air traffic control to be privatized by select corporations throughout

the United States. This is a concerning issue due to the fact that those select airlines will be able

to push their own interests in order to increase their profits. The Federal Aviation

Administration must remain in control of our air-traffic to ensure safety throughout the United

states. United States’ Congress should vote against air-traffic control privatization because

airline monopolization will delay the modernization of radar systems, decrease the efficiency of

air-traffic, and increased fees will be imposed on general aviation aircraft. Furthermore, a

privatized air-traffic control, operated by the airlines, will prioritize their own aircraft operations

and undercut smaller traffic.

In the article: ATC Privatization is Unconstitutional Ed Bolen, CEO of the National

Business Aviation Association, describes how a privatized air-traffic control governed by airlines

would “prioritize a certain class/type of aircraft (commercial airlines) over another (general
Riley
16

aviation. This will mainly include increasing their efficiency and increasing profits. This means

if an airport is not meeting a certain amount of landings required to bring profit to the

corporation, then they can terminate air-traffic control services to that specific airport. This will

undoubtedly occur throughout our nation filled with small, general aviation airports.

Additionally, since the ATC system is monopolized, then there will not be another corporation to

provide air-traffic services to that airport. This will inevitably endanger operations of airports

which need air-traffic control, but do not have enough ticket sales to make it a reasonable

investment for the corporation. On the other hand, government controlled ATC give out

subsidies to smaller airports that do not have a lot of traffic. This is necessary due to the fact that

many smaller airports offer flights to larger airports in order to get to a far away destination

(regional airlines).

According to the article, Canada’s Experience with ATC Privatization the transition from

a Canadian government ran ATC to a privatized air-traffic control was successful transition

“representing broad interests” and “integrating public safety into its operational structure”

(Floyd). This motivates many United States’ Congress members to mimic Canada’s and

Germanys’ privatized air traffic systems. However, these privatized systems increase pointless

fees for general aviation aircraft. For example, a privatized ATC will have to establish landing

fees in order to pay for their equipment and employees. This means if a small plane lands at an

airport, then the pilot must pay a landing fee which could escalate depending on the number of

passengers he or she has onboard. In return, pilots try to stretch the limits of their plane in order

to make the lowest number of fuel stops possible. This decreases safety and reliability of ATC.

Additionally, privatized air-traffic control can charge pilots on certain types of flight plans while
Riley
17

enroute to a destination. A Flight plan is an intended route published by the pilot for his or her

flight. As a result, pilots will not fly with a flight plan and increase the risk of flying.

As stated before, U.S Congress like to use Nav Canada as a successful example of ATC

privatization. In return, some Congress members believe ATC privatization is the correct path

for the United States. However, Canada’s air traffic infrastructure is not at the level as the

United States currently. When Canada made the switch to privatization over two decades ago,

the infrastructure was not nearly as developed as ours is today. If we privatized air traffic control,

the United States government would be giving over “18 billion dollars of ATC systems and

facilities” to a private corporation (Bolen). Billions of tax payer dollars would be thrown out the

window. To make matter worse, pilots would essentially be paying additional fees for the

equipment, fees we already paid through taxes! Lastly, some commercial airline ticket prices

would increase in price due to the new expenses airlines would face. This would mean a certain

airline, not in control of ATC, may be charged a larger landing fee, essentially targeted.

Additionally, certain airports which are used regularly by airlines who control ATC may not

have a landing fee because their airlines are mainly operated out of that area.

The Federal Aviation Administration does a phenomenal job of managing our air-traffic

throughout the United States. Air travel is the safest form of transportation due to the diligent

work of air traffic controllers. Although airlines complain that ATC radar is outdated, the FAA

regularly attempts to modernize the industry with new radar and GPS technology. In fact, the

FAA is requiring pilots to equip their aircraft with ADS-B GPS technology by the year 2020.

Furthermore, Airlines are usually equipped with outdated equipment for precision instrument

approaches, while general aviation aircraft have up- to- date technology. Modernization of ATC

would not be solved if it were privatized. This is due to the fact that the transition period to
Riley
18

switch from government regulated ATC to privatized ATC would take multiple years, which

would not include any progressive movements towards an increase in technology. The

corporations will have to focus on running a successful and safe program, not the future

technology. Of course, this will take multiple years before aviation will collectively be upgraded

to precision GPS technology, such as WAAS (wide area augmentation system). Air traffic

control under the FAA will prove to modernize the industry which will make aviation safer.

Lastly, events such as EAA AirVenture will most likely be canceled due to lack of air

traffic controller availability. AirVenture is celebrated in Wisconsin, over ten thousand planes fly

in to the Oshkosh airport and attend a massive airshow lasting seven days. This is the largest air

show in the world and constantly motivate young individuals to become pilots. A “private ATC

operator is unlikely to provide the 85 qualified controllers necessary to run the annual event”

(Flight Intl.). Events such as this will become less common due to the fact that airshows do not

generate the most amount of profit for a corporation. For example, the EAA will not be able to

allow children to go up in an airplane at a “young eagle’s event” or the EAA will lack the ability

to provide up to date information on general aviation.

The United States’ Congress must not pass this bill which would undoubtedly weaken

general aviation while promoting the interests of airlines. This is not ATC privatization, this is an

air traffic monopoly which allows select airlines to push their agenda and make the most profit

possible. Although Congress and many others believe NavCanada and other foreign ATC

entities have been a success, it will cost the United States’ government billions of dollars. Lastly,

ATC privatization will demolish events which support youth involvement in aviation. In

conclusion, air-traffic privatization would have a negative impact on the United States air

transportation system and general aviation community.


Riley
19