The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), AFL-CIO, has long opposed any attempts to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system. After years of pushing back on legislation introduced in Congress and attempts by the previous president to privatize the system, a five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was signed into law in October 2018 without any privatization language.
During the pandemic, air travel around the world plummeted and how other nations dealt with their privatized air traffic control systems speaks volumes about why PASS has always maintained that air traffic control is an inherently governmental function. PASS member Pat Delaney serves as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) representative from the International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations (IFATSEA), of which PASS is a member. In the following article, he examines the consequences of outsourcing air traffic control.
COVID-19 Pandemic and Air Navigation Service Providers
The covid-19 pandemic has reached the one-year milestone. The pandemic has wreaked unforeseen havoc on the world’s economies. Who would have thought we would be told to say home from work and school with only essential businesses open—all others closed. The roadways in the United States became barren as well as the skies. The U.S. airline industry slowed to a level not seen since September 11, 2001: only this time it would last for months. The world-wide airline industry has been hit the hardest. The demand for air travel was crippled by the public’s fear of the infectious disease and being trapped in an aircraft for hours. Countries imposing travel restrictions also reduced the demand for international flights.
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