May 11, 2016
CEI Fellow Marc Scribner, one of the petitioners in CEI’s lawsuit against the Transportation Security Administration’s final rule on airport body scanners, joined Cato’s Caleb Brown and Jim Harper to discuss the lawsuit, TSA’s ongoing problems with following the law, and what is wrong with airport security in the United States. You can listen below or click through to Cato’s website for additional listening and download options.
Conservatives for Big Government: Air Traffic Control Reform Opponents Have Lost Their Minds or PrinciplesMay 10, 2016
Right now in Congress, there is a proposal to end a government monopoly, replace it with a customer-driven corporation, slash taxes, and eliminate nearly two-thirds of a government agency’s budget. Not surprisingly, some Washington insiders oppose it. Surprisingly, some of those opponents are self-described conservatives.
The conservative opposition, led by the Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth, wants to scuttle a proposal to spin off the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air...
May 2, 2016
Reason Foundation Director of Transportation Policy Bob Poole has an excellent article in National Review debunking the myths peddled by a handful of conservatives on the House’s AIRR Act proposal to spin off air traffic control from the FAA and into an independent nonprofit. The proposal is based on Canada’s successful Nav Canada corporatization model, which was undertaken 20 years ago and was recently profiled in The Wall Street Journal. An excerpt of Poole’s piece:
The proposal adopted by the House committee...
May 2, 2016
Today, CEI, The Rutherford Institute, CEI Vice President Iain Murray, and yours truly filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) final rule on body scanners, which was published in March.
CEI et al. argue that TSA’s final rule fails to consider one important factor related to the deployment body scanners: a potential increase in highway injuries and deaths. If that sounds crazy, let me explain. Past research suggests that post-9/11 airport security policies were so invasive that a number...
April 28, 2016
Today, CEI, the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), and CEI employee Gordon Cummings, as a private individual, filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) recent regulation extending the existing statute prohibiting smoking aboard aircraft to cover electronic cigarettes. The reason is simple: Congress never gave regulators the power to prohibit e-cigarette use aboard aircraft.
The agency is inventing authority it clearly does not have. Congress granted USDOT power to implement its law under ...
April 6, 2016
Guest Post by David Grizzle
Former Chief Operating Officer and Chief Counsel, FAA
As the former chief operating officer and chief counsel at the FAA, I saw how the lack of modern technology hampers us from more effectively routing the 2 million people who fly every day. We are one of the few remaining developed countries in the world that relies on paper strips and outdated technology like ground-based radar to direct the most technologically advanced planes the world has seen.
We have a historic opportunity now to reform air traffic control to enhance safety, provide a steady and reliable funding stream for high-tech projects, and improve the flight experience for consumers. Imagine knowing with certainty when you arrive at the airport for your weekly flight home that you won’t be delayed because of bad weather in another part of the country...
April 5, 2016
Last month, I wrote about why everyone should be disappointed by the Senate’s FAA reauthorization bill: it fails to include key air traffic control reforms contained in the House’s AIRR Act and threatens the nascent small unmanned aircraft research and entrepreneur communities with onerous manufacturing regulations (Section 2124).
Apparently undeterred by the bill’s fundamental weaknesses, Senate leadership is poised to move forward with a floor debate. Things are likely to get worse, as the Senate has once again indicated it has little interest in passing needed...
April 1, 2016
Capital Research Center, a conservative policy group in Washington, D.C., recently published an extended essay, “PATCO’s Revenge: Capitol Hill cronyism may give the air traffic controllers what they always wanted,” by Steven J. Allen. Allen alleges that the House’s AIRR Act air traffic control title—which spins off air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration into a new independent nonprofit ATC Corporation described in more detail in this CEI report—contains labor provisions that would allow the air traffic control union to legally strike, something currently prohibited under federal law. However, Allen’s frightening thesis is built upon a fundamental misunderstanding of federal labor law and the reforms...
March 16, 2016
This morning, the Senate Commerce Committee held a markup hearing on their Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016 (S. 2658). A couple of positive unmanned aircraft system (UAS) amendments—a drone delivery amendment from Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and one from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) ...
March 9, 2016
The AIRR Act (H.R. 4441), the FAA reauthorization bill in the House, contains badly needed reforms of U.S. air traffic control. See my FAQ on what this reorganization is all about. Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its cost estimate, or score, of the AIRR Act. It concludes that the bill would add $19.8 billion to the deficit through 2026. Before conservatives blow a gasket on this supposed budget buster, note that the CBO report relies on some nonsensical assumptions to derive this misleading figure.
CBO assumes aviation taxes will remain the same following the spinoff of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization into the new independent nonprofit ATC Corporation. This is because the House Ways...