By 2030, North Carolina will add another two million residents, making our state home to more than twelve million people. As North Carolina continues to grow, the need to improve our transportation and infrastructure systems cannot be emphasized enough. North Carolina’s economy depends on these networks to meet the state’s current and future needs. This is especially true of our aviation industry which connects North Carolina residents and businesses to the World. Ensuring the safety and efficiency of our local regional airports and international hubs is not just important but necessary in order to strengthen North Carolina’s transportation network.
How do we begin to do this? By upgrading our woefully outdated air traffic control (ATC) system.
Last month, the NC Chamber sent North Carolina’s congressional delegation a letter urging our state’s leaders to support ATC reform. The United States operates the safest ATC system in the world. However, it is under increasing stress due to staffing deficiencies and a reliance on antiquated technology dating back to World War II. In order for our system to remain the safest and ensure it is ready to take on increasing demand, our nation’s leaders should establish a not-for-profit, independent ATC organization, with guaranteed reliable funding that will usher in the system’s long awaited updates. Legislation like the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act would establish such an organization by creating a federally chartered, independent body tasked with modernizing and investing in the ATC system. Such an approach is supported by controllers, pilots, and bi-partisan former FAA officials and would remove the ATC system from the binds of Washington’s erratic political budget process.
Congress has the opportunity to advance these commonsense reforms and secure the ATC system’s desperately needed updates. North Carolina’s transportation and infrastructure systems are valuable assets in the global jobs race and we must do everything in our power to see that our state continues to grow as a competitor. We will continue to update you on our efforts to strengthen North Carolina’s transportation and infrastructure.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber