Privatization bill serves big airlines

Updated 1/31/2018 5:28 PM

I am a 35-year private pilot from Campbell Airport mentioned in an Op-Ed on Jan. 22 -- a private airport by the way. The view conveyed is self-serving to big airlines at the expense of taxpayers. I'll offer a reality check. While often referred to as privatization, HR 2997 really just takes a monopoly and turns it over, lock, stock, and barrel, to a board dominated by the airlines and their affiliates, zero oversight or competition.

Eighty percent of delays in the system are caused by the airlines and weather, neither of which HR 2997 can address. Just a fact.

The article points to other countries to support its view -- Canada and the UK -- both experienced ticket fee increases of 59 percent and 30 percent. The UK system actually required a bailout. The board will be stacked against the little guy. Giving them one of 13 board seats. Be real. I don't think Campbell needs anything more than support for the services currently offered -- with no fees or taxes.

The current system is antiquated but being addressed already with NextGen (GPS) which is on track to modernize the system, only the airlines are lagging in adoption of this new technology according to congressional testimony. The Op-Ed suggesting that privatization is the "solution" to address the modernization issue is nothing short of convenient, self-serving bias.

Do we really want the airlines running the ATC system? The same folks who have filed bankruptcy many times since 1978? How well did other government hybrids work out -- Amtrak/Fannie Mae (our mortgage/financial crisis). Finally the article talks of "private jet lobbyists/wealthy private jet folks" -- wow, I think most general aviation might be taken aback to be included in the minority of that categorization.

We shouldn't give the foxes keys to the henhouse. Just another bad idea.

Curt Rothlisberger


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