Venable partner Jim Burnley was quoted in a May 4, 2017, Law360 article on the prospects of air traffic control following recent and high profile customer services issues with several airlines. Critics of reform and modernization efforts are likely to use the latest lapses as leverage when Congress takes up the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization later this year which is expected to include discussions on spinning off air traffic control into a nonprofit entity.
"The debate about transferring air traffic control to a nonprofit corporation has absolutely no overlap with the debate with how passengers are treated on an airplane — it's a totally separate issue," said Burnley, who added that he was encouraged by the current administration’s focus on the issue. "The most positive development since the first of the year is that the Trump administration has enthusiastically embraced reform," he said. "The Obama [administration] had been totally silent on the issue. So that's a major change in the political equation on what might happen. If the administration follows through and plays a proactive leadership role during the debate, then reform will occur."