Miracle on Hudson Pilot: Don’t Privatize Air Traffic Control

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If we go down this road, I’m worried about access. I’m worried about equitability. And, I’m worried about safety.

We have a wonderful, unique freedom and privilege in this country — an unfettered aviation system that anyone can participate in safely and efficiently. Simply put, our aviation system is the biggest, the best and the most diverse in the world. And it is constantly improving. In most other countries, it’s either too restrictive or too expensive for an average person to fly, and the only way one can fly is to go on an airliner or a military flight. Yet, if you hear the commercial airlines lately, they are telling all of us that these are exactly the types of systems they want to emulate in their drive to privatize air traffic control.

The airlines are making a push in Congress to take this big, diverse, national asset that serves so many different communities, aircraft and purposes and put it under the control of a narrow board that would run air traffic control according to their own interest. They say it would be easier to manage — but easier for whom? They want to remove oversight of the air traffic control system from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Congress, and give it to a narrow group of stakeholders dominated by the largest airlines. That benefits only the largest airlines, not the American people.

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Sully Sullenberger
Sully Sullenberger
Captain "Sully" Sullenberger has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety his entire adult life. While he is best known for serving as Captain during what has been dubbed the "Miracle on the Hudson," Sullenberger is a safety expert, speaker, and author. He currently serves on the U.S. Department of Transportation's Advisory Committee for Automation in Transportation, and still flies privately.

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