air traffic control officer with a headset directing flight traffic on his computer screen

NATA: Aviation Business Conference in DC — What We Learned

The timing of NATA’s (National Air Transportation Association) annual conference couldn’t have worked out any better given President Trump’s recent announcement regarding the reauthorization of Air Traffic Control (ATC) and its potential privatization. What I didn’t know, but subsequently learned, was the drastic and negative effect this could have on general aviation. In fact, there was such concern that the heads of all the major business aviation associations were in attendance to address the matter. Everyone from Matt Zuccaro (President, HAI) to Steve Brown (COO, NBAA) to Marty Hiller (President, NATA) and many others attended to voice their respective concerns to the members of our round table. The delegation then met with their state’s Senate offices to relay the concern. In summary, the proposal calls for an air traffic control corporation to be funded by user fees from charter operators. Heavily controlled and overseen by the major airline companies, general aviation stands to be in a position of constant peril in fear of cost shifting and denied access to airspace and airports. Although the user fee structure has yet to be determined, the general sense is that it’ll greatly affect the Part 135 community and undermine the current system given that it’ll heavily favor their airline competitors. For more information on this topic and for a fact sheet debunking common assertions by the bill’s proponents, visit