The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) commented today on the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and Secretary LaHood’s initiative in bringing aviation stakeholders together to discuss the financial health of commercial aviation – an economic engine that drives 8 percent of global gross domestic product.
Airline executives participating in the forum called for:
– No new taxes and fees, which would burden an already overtaxed industry and travelers/shippers
– Fully-funded and accelerated modernization of the nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system
– Enhanced oversight of energy markets to excessive speculation and the resulting volatility of oil prices
– Elimination of arcane restrictions on airlines’ ability to operate efficiently in the global marketplace
– A global sectoral approach to climate change for aviation developed through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
“We appreciate that Secretary LaHood is taking this step to address the future health and competitiveness of the US aviation industry,” said ATA president and CEO James C. May. “The formation of a federal advisory committee of government and industry stakeholders, who will seek solutions to the challenges facing US aviation in order to restore jobs and the financial health of our industry, is essential. Ultimately, a healthy airline industry will help drive the nation’s economic recovery.”
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive US$1.1 trillion in US economic activity and more than 10 million US jobs. However, the US airline industry has lost nearly US$60 billion since 2001.
ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all US airline passenger and cargo traffic. For additional information about the industry, visit www.airlines.org .