FAA History Lesson -- September 7

From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Sep 7, 1993: Vice President Albert Gore released the report of the National Performance Review, a study of the operations of the Federal government that Gore had led during the past six months. The report made recommendations intended to streamline government and make it more cost beneficial. Proposals concerning aviation included: terminating Federal grant funding for FAA higher education programs; cutting Essential Air Service subsidies; increasing FAA fees for inspection of foreign repair facilities; and contracting for the operation of low activity (Level 1) air traffic control facilities. The report’s most far reaching recommendation concerning FAA was its proposal for creating a government-owned corporation to provide air traffic control services (see Jan 6 and May 3, 1994). ”

(emphasis in the original publication)

I imagine this piece of history might shock a few of the younger controllers. Yes, it was a Democratic administration that started contracting out Towers and tried to “corporatize” the FAA. I thought they were wrong then and I think the Republican administration is wrong now. Interestingly, Congress has pretty much stayed consistent in its opposition too (after contracting out the Level I towers), even though control the House and the Senate has changed parties on occasion.

If you’d like to read about USATS -- that was the name of the proposed corporation -- you can start with this press release from the NBAA. They’ve stayed consistent in their opposition too.

Don Brown
September 7, 2007


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