WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2015 – Today, Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio urged Members of Congress to further build on our nation’s role as a global aviation leader by delivering the modern and efficient Air Traffic Control (ATC) system the industry needs and customers deserve.
In remarks to the International Aviation Club of Washington, D.C., Calio noted that aviation is a key driver of the U.S. economy, and that our nation can no longer afford to rely on an outdated ATC system hampered by a governing and funding structure that inhibits innovation and swift adoption of modern technology, costing passengers and airlines $30 billion per year in delays and cancellations. A4A and its member airlines believe the status quo is unacceptable, and that the best way to spur the next generation of ATC technologies is through transformational reform of the system.
“Congress has a unique opportunity with the FAA Reauthorization bill to do something really meaningful – to truly transform our nation’s Air Traffic Control system,” said Calio. “Now is the time to restore our nation’s global leadership role in ATC technology and innovation – we have the safest aviation system in the world, but it must also be the most modern and efficient.”
Calio also noted the industry’s strong financial performance, which has enabled carriers to grow their investment in people, products and technologies to better meet the expectations of the traveling and shipping public. After decades of financial losses, the industry has achieved its fifth consecutive year of profitability and 21st consecutive month of employment gains, during which time employees are receiving higher salaries, profit sharing, and better-funded retirement accounts.
“Because of the critical role airlines play as drivers of jobs and economic growth, we must be a successful industry,” said Calio. “We must be able to invest, innovate and grow to meet our customer’s needs – and, in order to do all of these things — we must be profitable. Healthy airlines benefit all facets of our economy and U.S. airlines are embracing change, becoming more competitive and investing more than $1.3 billion per month into the travel experience, all while maintaining the affordability of air travel.”
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. U.S. airlines fly 2.4 million passengers and more than 58,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.
A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor, Congress, the Administration and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.