WASHINGTON, DC – US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement in anticipation of introduction of a Senate measure to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA):
“The guiding principles for any aviation reform measure should be that it is pro-competition, pro-growth and pro-traveler—and that is what we are hopeful that we are going to see from the Senate’s version of an FAA reauthorization bill. There are some strong indications that the wants and needs of actual travelers are top-of-mind for a number of senators—especially members of the pivotal Commerce Committee—and that perspective has been disappointingly lacking from the FAA conversation so far.
“Aircraft seat size and the fees charged by airlines are among the consumer-oriented issues that senators have proposed tackling via legislation. But many flying headaches are traceable to a common origin: the disappearance of competition and choices among airlines, which enables major carriers to impose whatever costs, conditions and flight options they want upon their customers and the communities they serve. The FAA reauthorization presents an opportunity to redress that disturbing trend by adjusting the PFC cap, so airports can offer the modern infrastructure and expanded capacity that are needed to attract new competitors or more service into the marketplace.
“It’s not about limited seat size. It’s about limited options. We urge leaders to aim higher, especially with travelers so frustrated.
“The average flyer probably pays little attention to the goings-on in the halls of Congress, and understandably so. But the next few weeks could represent a remarkable turning point for travel and travelers, if lawmakers seize the moment to confront the root cause of problems that dog flyers on a day-to-day basis—and which therefore dog the American economy and way of life.
“I like to think my optimism is informed by some of the encouraging signs we have seen from the Senate.”