13 Feb Government shutdown ripple effects will continue for GA
It is rumored in the media that the proverbial straw that broke the camle’s back was the ATC delays out of LaGuardia. Reportedly its location in NYC prompted one side to loosen up and then the fear of a wave of slow downs across two other airports and the network worried the other side. However, as GA pilots, the long tail of this fiasco could be felt in many ways in the near future.
The first article with the title “Will the 35-day shutdown lead to privatizing government functions?” can be read by clicking here. Note that many important government entities were affected, ranging from TSA to FDA as well as the FAA. The most foreboding quote in the article of troubles to come for GA is:
“Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, noted that, largely due to the threat of shutdowns, the air traffic controllers’ own union has come down in favor of privatization – as Canada did with its controllers in 1996 and as is the case in most of Europe.”
According to AOPA (I think that they are right here whether you love’em or hate’em) “privatization” means that commercial carriers will be controlling and driving all the reforms for ATC. Deeper pockets will definitely speak louder here and GA will definitely suffer – either through exorbitant “usage fees” or worse.
On a positive note, a more recent article, with a title of “House Panel To Spotlight Shutdown’s Harm on Aviation” states that now congress is focusing on possibly insulating the FAA and ATC from the usual budget and appropriation turmoils. The best summary quote from the article states:
“This is a common-sense piece of legislation that ensures that all of the critical components of our National Airspace System remain fully operational, without interruptions, in a safe and secure manner, regardless of the political environment,” agreed Shelly Simi, president and CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials. “As demonstrated by the recent shutdown, aviation has a broad-reaching effect in serving the needs of our citizens and communities across the nation and directly impacts the economy.”
You can read the full article here.
Whilst as members of VASI we are always vigilant of local events affecting Florida GA and particularly KVNC we should also remain mindful of events that will be affecting GA nationwide. I am sure that we will be hearing more about this in the coming months.
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