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Signature needed: Tell Congress not to privatize our air traffic control system

Signature needed: Tell Congress not to privatize our air traffic control system

Every day, the men and women working for FAA's Air Traffic Control (ATC) keep our nation's skies safe for air passengers. The busy holiday travel season is no different as they work to ensure we make it home to spend quality time with our loved ones. We can and should expect our air traffic control system to keep working far into the future.

But Republicans in Congress and lobbyists for some of the biggest airlines are rushing to privatize ATC operations and jeopardize a system that is second to none where safety is concerned. A few countries have privatized their ATC systems and the results have been what you probably expect: higher costs for passengers, less democratic oversight, and job losses. Privatizing ATC operations here would also hurt rural communities who depend on smaller airports to thrive. In just a few weeks, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will be taking up the issue and they need to hear from you!

Please help stop this disastrous proposal. Republicans on the relevant committees are making this their first priority when they return to Washington in January, so we have to speak up now. Sign the petition and share it with your network. FAA needs stable, long-term funding to keep our country's skies safe, not more outsourcing.

To Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member DeFazio, and the members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee:

The United States has one of the safest air traffic control systems in the world. The FAA is currently working to implement new technologies that will make air travel even safer and more efficient. While all programs can be improved, we urge you not to dismantle and privatize an air traffic control system that is not broken.

Our nation can’t afford to privatize our air traffic control system. Were we to do so, the result could be more consolidation and power for airlines, less choice and more expensive travel for consumers, loss of good jobs among air traffic controllers and other aviation workers, and more cuts at rural airports. Privatizing air traffic control and turning control over to an unelected board of airline interests, would further consolidate airline power and be harmful to consumers and small towns.

Advocates for privatization claim to be following the examples of the UK and Canada - - but since the UK privatized its air traffic system, 12 percent of jobs were cut AND the new fees and existing taxes on every ticket increased by 140%. In Canada, 14 percent of jobs were cut and the total new fees and taxes increased by 53%. In fact, many privatization initiatives increase costs to consumers, while simultaneously laying off workers without cause. This is not a way to grow our economy or generate broadly shared prosperity.

Losing democratic oversight over this part of our national transportation system means that a new monopoly corporation outside of the Federal government will decide how much to charge for air traffic control services and how to allocate resources. This could seriously disadvantage rural communities and small towns by increasing costs and limiting access.

Instead of privatizing air traffic control, we believe that Congress should create a pathway to allow the FAA to move forward with long-term capital planning without relinquishing Congressional oversight or allowing a new corporate monopoly run by the airlines to slash air traffic control jobs.

The cost of privatization is simply too high. It is bad for workers, bad for passengers, and harmful to smaller and rural communities.

Sincerely,

American Family Voices
Courage Campaign
Crooks and Liars
Daily Kos
Deluge
People Demanding Action
Progressive Congress
Progressive Democrats of America
RootsAction.org
Watchdog.net