Dubuque chamber announces opposition to air traffic control privatization bill

The Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors has voted unanimously in opposition to a bill that would privatize air traffic control, according to a press release.

The chamber opposed HR 2997, also known as the AIRR Act, saying it compromised economic activities and safety of passengers.

“Privatizing our nation’s air traffic control system would negatively impact general aviation and rural communities resulting in increased costs for all travelers and would create significant barriers to business and corporate operations,” Molly Grover, chamber president, said in the release.

The aviation industry is one of the area's main streams of income, reportedly bringing in billions of dollars. General aviation is 98 percent of air traffic at Dubuque Regional Airport when compared with air carrier activity. Additionally, Dubuque Regional Airport has seen a 900 percent increase in business jets on the field over the past four years, the release said.

Aiport manager Robert Grierson said he was grateful for the chamber's opposition to the bill.

“I thank the Chamber for their proactive stance in protecting air traffic control resources for all system users," Grierson said. "Hopefully Congress will pay attention to this grass roots action and find a better solution to the issues that plague the air traffic system modernization."

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