Larsen: ATC Privatization A Major Obstacle To Long Term Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, issued a statement today regarding the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extension the House passed that authorizes the agency through July 15.

“The current House reauthorization bill contains much needed certification reforms, direction to speed up the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and a long term authorization of programs and funding. On certification, the House bill includes far-reaching reforms to streamline the FAA certification process that will help U.S. manufacturers become more competitive and create jobs.

“As it stands however, the House bill also contains a proposal to privatize the air traffic control (ATC) system and because of that privatization proposal, we are missing an opportunity to act swiftly and advance a long-term aviation bill.

“Back in February, I said this bill could be a slam dunk but for privatization, and today I still feel that way. Unfortunately, this controversial privatization plan brings up the very real possibility that we could be looking at a series of extensions. As we know all too well, a series of short-term extensions has very real impacts on all users of the aviation system.

“I am hopeful the House and Senate can work together to advance a long-term bill without putting our aviation system into a damaging holding pattern with a series of short-term patches,” Larsen said.

Larsen, the Ranking Member of the Aviation Subcommittee, voted to strike the ATC privatization proposal, and instead make targeted reforms to FAA procurement and personnel at a Committee markup in February.