A measure we can all get behind

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By Jim Coon, AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs

In reading Ben Sclair’s recent article, “Do we really need another aviation organization?“, regarding legislation pending in Congress that would establish a National Center for the Advancement of Aviation (NCAA) it was clear that he had a few questions. I’d like to address those and hopefully fill in the gaps.

First, the proposal is bipartisan, which is something you rarely see in Washington. Second, the NCAA has the support of virtually the entire aviation industry, comprising 130 organizations. Third, it is not a government agency or another government program. As Ben pointed out, the legislation would establish a federally chartered 501c3 not-for-profit organization. Being federally chartered simply suggests that Congress established the organization and is not a federal entity.

Let me say that I, too, get skeptical when I see words like create, stand up, establish. It reminds me, in a circuitous sort of way, that words do matter. 

For example, as you all know, when the airlines pushed legislation to remove air traffic control from the FAA, the effort was coined “privatization” when in reality it was nothing more than a “power grab” that wouldn’t have modernized ATC any quicker, solved delays in the system, or reduced airfares. We still believe that the FAA’s shining light is its air traffic operations and the professionalism displayed by the thousands of FAA controllers each day.

Establishing a National Center for the Advancement of Aviation is a necessity to bring the aviation industry together. A place to foster cooperation and collaboration in order to address a number of issues, most pointedly ensuring that the United States has a well-qualified and well-trained workforce to meet the demands that are present today and will remain so well into the future.

There are so many good things going on in aviation to

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