For the first time in RAA history, a sitting U.S. Cabinet Secretary will attend the Regional Airline Association Annual Convention as the Honorable Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation will headline the 36th Annual RAA Convention in Nashville. Secretary LaHood is scheduled to address the Opening Keynote Session on Tuesday, May 17 by officially opening the Exhibit Hall and walk through the hall with nearly 200 companies represented.
"Secretary LaHood's gracious acceptance of our invitation reflects the critical importance of regional airlines to the U.S. economy. We're very fortunate that the Administration's #1 transportation official will be joining the airlines which provide more than one half the nation's scheduled passenger flights and which 75% of US communities rely on exclusively to link to the global economy," said RAA President Roger Cohen.
"We're especially excited that hundreds of our exhibitors will get a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to showcase their products and services 'up close and personal' with the Secretary. Regional airline suppliers employ hundreds of thousands of skilled professionals, and are leaders in technology innovation and job creation," added Cohen.
Secretary LaHood's primary goals in implementing President Obama's priorities for transportation include safety across all modes, restoring economic health and creating jobs, sustainability - shaping the economy of the coming decades by building new transportation infrastructure, and assuring that transportation policies focus on people who use the transportation system and their communities.
As Secretary of Transportation, LaHood leads an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime and surface transportation missions. His priorities are to effectively implement Obama's goals with a commitment to fairness across regional and party lines and between people who come to the issues with different perspectives.