Former Blue Angels, Thunderbirds Against ATC Privatization

Six former team commanders of the US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels are forcefully opposing legislation that would privatize US air traffic control services, the group said.

In a 100-second video produced by the International Council of Air Shows, these former military aviators urge their fellow citizens to contact their congressional representatives to tell them to vote against H.R. 2997 which is currently being considered by the US House of Representatives.

“We are concerned about recently proposed legislation that would turn over America´s air traffic control to a private organization that would be controlled by the airlines and their allies,” said Major General Brian Bishop (US Air Force, Retired), who flew in the lead position for the US Air Force Thunderbirds in 1998 and 1999.

“We know first-hand that the air traffic control system in our country is the safest, largest, most diverse and most efficient in the world,” said Captain Steve Foley (US Navy, Retired), who was the commanding officer of the US Navy Blue Angels in 2005 and 2006.

In the video, the six former US military senior officers –Bishop, Foley, George Dom, Ron Mumm, Greg McWherter, and Richard McSpadden — provide details on what the proposed legislation will and will not accomplish.

“This legislation will not reduce the vast majority of delays caused by bad weather and the airlines themselves,” said Dom, a retired Navy captain who was team lead of the Blue Angels in 1997 and 1998.

“It will not enhance safety, reduce fares or accelerate modernization,” adds Mumm, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who led the US Air Force Thunderbirds in 1996 and 1997.

“But it will add billions to our Nation´s budget deficit, negatively impact our national security, and needlessly complicate border protection,” said McWherter, also a retired Navy captain who flew in the lead position for the Blue Angels from 2009 through 2012.

In addition to these six highly respected former military pilots, nearly 150 aviation organizations around the country are also actively opposing the legislation.

Watch the video here:

Headquartered in Leesburg, Va., ICAS was founded in 1968 as a trade and professional association by industry professionals to protect and promote their interests in the North American air show marketplace.