HUNTINGTON – Three leading West Virginia aviation groups have sent a letter to West Virginia’s congressional delegation opposing a bill that would privatize the nation’s air traffic control system.

The Huntington Tri-State Airport, the North Central West Virginia Airport, and the West Virginia Airport Managers Association represent a majority of the Mountain State’s aviation community. In an Oct. 19 letter to West Virginia’s congressional delegation from Jerry Brienza, manager of Huntington Tri-State Airport and president of the West Virginia Airport Association, along with Richard Rock, manager of the North Central West Virginia Airport, the group says research shows the bill is “likely unconstitutional.”

“Recently, the three entities specifically created to provide Congress with non-partisan research and analysis have reviewed the air traffic control (ATC) ‘privatization’ proposal being pushed by the big airlines,” the letter said. “The Congressional Research Service said H.R. 2997 was ‘likely unconstitutional.’ The Congressional Budget Office said the bill would raise the deficit by $100 billion. Finally, the Government Accountability Office said privatization would interfere with ATC programs that have delivered $2.7 billion in benefits to all users of the system and are on budget.”

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