WASHINGTON – The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization representing the leading U.S. airlines, today applauded the recommendations of the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee (FAAC) under the leadership of Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Consisting of a cross section of aviation stakeholders – airlines, airports, manufacturers, labor, academia, finance, consumer interests and general aviation – the FAAC worked collaboratively and reached consensus on several recommendations for Secretary LaHood that will help drive the policy changes needed to ensure the viability and global competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry.
The recommendations, which the FAAC formally approved and will present to the Secretary today, address some of the most challenging and complex economic, environmental, safety and labor issues confronting the U.S. airline industry in an increasingly global and highly competitive market. We are supportive of and encouraged by the recommendations, which would:
Foster global airline alliances and unfettered access to the largest and fastest-growing global markets through Open Skies agreements
Accelerate NextGen implementation by providing government financial incentives to airline operators for equipage
Expedite the most cost-beneficial elements of NextGen, including ADS-B and performance-based procedures
Ensure that the federal aviation tax burden does not undermine the viability and competitiveness of the airline industry
Mitigate jet-fuel price volatility by supporting federal regulatory efforts to mitigate the impact of speculative activity on the price of oil
Reduce the impact of aviation on the environment through the use of sustainable fuels and improved aircraft technology
Further enhance aviation safety by strengthening FAA voluntary data-sharing programs and safety-risk discovery capabilities
These important recommendations will help the U.S. airline industry continue its economic recovery and remain a world leader. We look forward to working with the administration and the 112th Congress to ensure that the FAAC recommendations are implemented expeditiously.