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On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote YES on the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, H.R. 2997. The bill would reauthorize, reform, and modernize the Federal Aviation Administration.
The 21st Century AIRR Act is specifically designed to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the current authorization for which expires on September 30. The bill would also bring important and worthy reforms to the FAA, including the modernization of the air traffic control (ATC) system.
Past efforts to the reform the United States’ ATC system have failed. Part of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2003, the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) was supposed to modernize the FAA’s air traffic control system and make it more efficient. Instead, what the country has seen is implementation programs, delays, and higher costs.
In fact, the Department of Transportation’s inspector general warned in subcommittee testimony that the previous attempt to reform the nation’s ATC system may take 10 years longer to implement and that costs may reach $120 billion, substantially higher than originally estimated.
One of the most prominent points of reform is that it would take the ATC, which guides airplanes from destination to destination, out of federal hands and transform it into a non-profit corporation. At the moment, the ATC has come under fire because it uses technology that has not been updated in decades, has been subject to increasing flight delays, and is wasteful spending.
The 21st Century AIRR Act would sunset the Air Traffic Organization and transfer responsibility for ATC to a newly created nonprofit entity, the American Air Navigation Services Corporation. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute has explained, the modernization of ATC proposed by the 21st Century AIRR Act is similar to what Canada has accomplished. User fees for using the Canadian system are now 45 percent lower, adjusted for inflation.
In addition to ATC modernization, the 21st Century AIRR Act would reduce regulation, promote safety, and improve service to passengers. Although there is room for improvement for every bill, FreedomWorks believes the 21st Century AIRR Act brings a long overdue series of reforms to the FAA. Conservatives in Congress should support this effort.
FreedomWorks will count the votes for the 21st Century AIRR Act, H.R. 2997, when calculating our Scorecard for 2017 and reserves the right to score related votes. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks