WASHINGTON, June 29, 2017 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today issued the following statement on the Senate Commerce Committee’s bill to fund the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the next four years:
“Chairman Thune demonstrated strong leadership by successfully juggling competing interests to achieve a bipartisan bill that funds a critical component of our nation’s infrastructure,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “Most importantly, the bill paves the way for airport improvements without burdening consumers with additional taxes – a win for the 2.2 million passengers that take to the skies each day.”
“The airline industry looks forward to working with the Chairman on advancing the dialogue about modernizing our nation’s air traffic control infrastructure,” said Calio. “We continue to believe that the best way to enable 21st century modernization of the air traffic control system is to remove the service provider from politics and put it under an independent, not-for-profit model. This approach will allow the system to keep pace with the speed of technology, resulting in efficiencies that will lead to fewer delays and cancellations, keep costs down, save fuel and enhance safety.”
While much of this bill is a step forward, a provision introduced by Senators Markey and Wicker to re-regulate the airline industry through government-mandated price controls should be rejected. The price of airfare today is at a historic low when adjusted for inflation. This provision is not warranted and would harm the flying public, leading to increased costs and reduced accessibility.
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 groups, Congress and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.