No title A “commercialized” air traffic control system would be a disaster for general aviation. That’s the inescapable conclusion to be drawn from a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last week. “The GAO’s look at other countries’ experience with privatizing air traffic control confirms much of what AOPA has been saying for years,” said AOPA President Phil Boyer. “General aviation would be hurt and user fees are not the panacea for financing ATC.” The GAO looked at five commercialized air traffic control systems?Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom?and concluded that the air navigation service providers (ANSPs), as the GAO calls them, “?have instituted or increased fees for general aviation operators, and some ANSPs have increased or plan to increase the costs of service to small or remote locations.” And there isn’t much of a comparison between the systems when it comes to handling traffic. Combined, the five systems studied handle less traffic than just five of the FAA’s 22 air route traffic control centers. See AOPA Online.

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