Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman Garamendi Says No to Privatizing American Air Traffic Control Operations

February 11, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Davis, Yuba City), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Subcommittee on Aviation, voted in committee against H.R. 4441, a bill to privatize American Air Traffic Control operations. This bill would give away billions of dollars of public infrastructure to an unaccountable private corporation, jeopardizing public safety and making air travel less accountable to passengers.

“We all agree that the Federal Aviation Administration needs some reform, but handing our entire air traffic control system to a private corporation is a terrible idea,” said Congressman Garamendi. Privatized air traffic control exists in only two other countries, and each of those has experienced significant problems as a result. This bill would leave the most complicated, extensive and busiest air traffic control system in the world in the hands of 11 unelected and unaccountable private industry representatives, cutting out the Department of Defense as a voting member. It also leaves the FAA’s remaining operations vulnerable to future funding instabilities. We have the safest air traffic control system on the planet right now. Why would we jeopardize that by handing it over to an untested and unproven private company?”

“There are ways Congress can fix the problems the FAA does have. We could provide consistent funding so the FAA can hire qualified personnel and make long-term investments in technology and equipment, rather than leave our air travel systems vulnerable through sequestration and government shutdowns. What we shouldn’t do is pretend that privatizing our air traffic control systems will solve the problems that Congress has had a large hand in creating.”

H.R. 4441 passed the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. A vote before the full House of Representatives has not been scheduled.