Air Traffic Control Privatization – How It Affects Our Skies

A Message From The DZO

We are fortunate enough to live in an exciting time. With so much happening around us it’s easy not to realize that there is an important reorganization happening with Air Traffic Control (ATC). If you like skydiving or are a skydiver you want to learn more about proposed bill H.R.2997. This proposal is currently in front of a full House which could privatize air traffic control. This may not seem like a big deal, until that private corporation makes the well-funded airlines the priority and the skydiving operators are left on the ground. Currently the FAA has control over ATC and they follow a ‘first come first serve’ guideline. This means when someone ‘radios ATC’ they have to work you in the order that you call. They can’t deny someone, which is a great system and has worked for years. My biggest fear is that the new private corporation will not follow this guideline and will service the major airlines first. As you know corporations have a strong desire to make money as efficiently as possibly.

Another part of this proposal is user fees. This means that every time you require ATC handling you will have to pay a fee. Let’s say that fee is $2.50 per flight. Multiply that fee by the 9,000 flights we make each year and that equates to $22,500 per year, fees which we in turn will have to pass along to you, the jumpers.

While this proposed bill seems daunting, there is some positive news. Almost every general aviation association is against this proposal, but the fight is far from over and I need your help.

You can help by writing to your congress member and telling them you are against this bill. The United States Parachute Association has drafted a letter to help get you started.

You can find a sample letter HERE or by clicking this link:

If you need help finding your local representative, click the following link and enter your zip code:

Time is of the essence as they will be voting soon. I thank you for your help in supporting Skydive Chicago.

~ Rook Nelson, Skydive Chicago CEO

The Gift of Human Flight – Jimmy Ruggeiro

Skydive Chicago has teamed up with The Free Fall Foundation to give away a FREE tandem skydive and FREE video package to individuals who want to skydive but simply can’t afford the cost of skydiving.

Nominated by his boss, Scott Ayers, Jimmy Ruggeiro overcame drug addiction and multiple incarcerations to re-invent himself for both him and his family.  Jimmy works tirelessly these days to build his life around his family and friends and strengthen his life for the future.  Watch him tell his story here and feel the experience as he moves forward to another chapter of his life.

Skydive Chicago is partnering with The Free Fall Foundation in 2017 to help deliver the dream of skydiving to those in the Greater Chicagoland Area and surrounding communities for those who want to skydive but cannot muster the means to chase their dreams. Just like The Free Fall Foundation, Skydive Chicago believes everyone should feel the experience of skydiving. In fact, that is Skydive Chicago’s goal for all who walk through their doors and into their skies. The family and staff at Skydive Chicago live, work, and play in the world of skydiving because they believe in the freedom, family, and experiences that motivate them to push their boundaries to grow as skydivers and people as they return year after year to continue to give that gift to all who want to be a part of the experience.

If you know someone you think deserves the gift of human flight at Skydive Chicago, click here and nominate your friend or family member today!

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