Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio testified last week before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees Subcommittee on Aviation, addressing the critical role U.S. airlines play in economic growth and job creation and urging Congress to create a policy environment that enables carriers to run a business while encouraging growth, jobs and better performance for customers.
Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio testified last week before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation, addressing the critical role U.S. airlines play in economic growth and job creation and urging Congress to create a policy environment that enables carriers to run a business while encouraging growth, jobs and better performance for customers.
As the panel explored the state of the U.S. aviation industry, Calio stressed that the latest budget deal, which relies on raising taxes on airline passengers – on top of the $19 billion airlines and their customers already pay – speaks to the disjointed and hostile government action facing the industry. Calio also reiterated calls for a cohesive National Airline Policy to normalize the tax and regulatory environment to be more in line with other industries, enabling the U.S. airline industry to grow and prosper.
“U.S. airlines are a strategic asset and enabler of the broader U.S. economy, yet the policies of our own government continue to impede the viability and competitiveness of our carriers,” said Calio. “Recent action in Congress further underscores the need for a cohesive National Airline Policy, in which the U.S. government recognizes U.S. carriers as a strategic asset and the economic engine that drives 5 percent of GDP and 10 million jobs across the United States.”
In his testimony, Calio identified fundamental tax, regulatory and infrastructure challenges facing the industry here at home, in addition to international challenges from foreign competitors who enjoy favorable treatment from their governments, which is often in direct contrast to the way the U.S. government treats its own carriers.
“Unfortunately, all too often airlines confront indifferent, disjointed or hostile government policies. We operate in a public-policy setting that veers from the listless to the antagonistic,” Calio said. “Our government must play its appropriate role in ensuring U.S. commercial aviation can survive in what is now a dynamic global aviation sector that is rapidly changing – the risk of inaction is far too great.”
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. A4A airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. America needs a cohesive National Airline Policy that will support the integral role the nation’s airlines play in connecting people and goods globally, spur the nation’s economic growth and create more high-paying jobs.
For more information about the airline industry, visit www.airlines.org.
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