Air Traffic Control Privatization:
Privatizing the country’s air traffic control system (ATC) has been a long-held goal of the influential commercial airline industry. In 2017, House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) introduced Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization legislation (H.R.2997) containing language handing over control of the ATC system to a private, non-profit corporation effectively controlled by commercial airline companies and other groups aligned with them. Compounding the problem for opponents of ATC privatization, President Trump embraced the concept as part of his overall plan to boost infrastructure.
Concerned that ATC privatization could result in restrictions to general aviation access to airports and airspace and burdensome user fees, the Bockorny Group worked with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) to help craft and execute a multi-pronged advocacy campaign to defeat the proposal. Using a combination of traditional lobbying, grassroots, and a comprehensive communications campaign, the initiative successfully cast doubt on the alleged benefits of ATC privatization resulting in waning Congressional support. In March of 2017, Chairman Shuster conceded defeat and removed the ATC privatization language from the FAA package.