H.R. 2997, 21st Century AIRR Act

Bill Summary:

This bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for six years, enacts some consumer reforms, funds airport infrastructure and transitions the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system from federal control to an independent, not-for-profit corporation.

Bill Sponsor: Bill Shuster (R-PA)

Why This Bill Is Against Progressive Values:

Jason Lewis is cosponsoring a bill that “will disrupt major Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety and modernization programs, hand over Federal assets free of charge to a private corporation, threaten access to small, rural, and mid-sized communities, and likely drive up the cost of air travel.”

Title II of the bill would convey billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded assets to a private corporation, free of charge.  Funding for the corporation would be exclusively from user fees on passenger and cargo airlines.  These fees will be determined by the governing board, with no Congressional oversight.  Directors on this governing board would have a fiduciary duty “solely and exclusively to the Corporation“.  The ATC system could potentially be controlled by the airlines.  Three of the thirteen Directors are chosen by the airlines, with the possibility of four additional appointments friendly to airline interests with two appointments by the Secretary of Transportation and two appointments by other Board Directors.  Thus, the airlines could control the majority of the Board and there is no guarantee the public interest is served.  For more on this bill, click here.