October 30, 2003
The Honorable Frank R. Lautenberg
324 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Lautenberg:
We commend you for your leadership and strong opposition to the most recent version of the FAA Authorization conference report. The new conference report does not restore the original House and Senate language prohibiting privatization of air traffic control services. Instead, the report leaves the door open for future privatization attempts, going against the will of the American public and jeopardizing the safety of our skies.
Our air traffic control network is far more complex than any other in the world, with more than nine million flights and nearly 700 million passengers moved through the system annually. We believe that our air traffic control system must remain a federal responsibility, with employees entirely accountable to the public and not a company’s bottom line.
It appears the Administration is intent on moving ahead in contracting out air traffic control, as has been clearly demonstrated by the intense pressure it has applied to Congress. Only an explicit prohibition against privatizing air traffic control will assure the flying public that their safety will be secured.
Again, we commend you for your leadership on this critical public safety issue. We urge all Members of Congress to follow your lead and vote against the conference report as currently written.
Adam J. Goldberg
Public Citizen’s Congress Watch
Consumer Federation of America