RAA Statement on the Introduction of the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2016
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Regional Airline Association Statement on the Introduction of the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act
Washington, DC – Today, the Regional Airline Association, representing 26 North American regional airlines, which operate nearly half of all commercial airline departures in the United States, released the following statement in reaction to the introduction of the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act:
“The Regional Airline Association (RAA) opposes the AIRR Act in its current form. We cannot support an ATC entity that leaves an industry that operates 45 percent of the nation’s commercial flights without representation in the proposed new corporation.
“This bill places tremendous cost pressure on the regional airline industry while leaving us voiceless in all decisions made under the new ATC corporation. It is particularly concerning that the bill leaves questions about charges and fees unanswered, with variables like the role of weight, distance, or other factors important to regional airlines to be determined by a governance board dominated by mainline air carrier representatives.
“The success of our airlines’ mainline partners is critical to our own industry’s health,” said RAA President Faye Malarkey Black. “However, regional airlines play a very important -- and a very distinct – role in providing the nation’s air service. Regional airlines must have their own clear voice in this process.”
“Without our own voice, regional airlines are left vulnerable to exponential cost increases. Even under projected “best-likely-case” scenarios, early modeling exercises demonstrate massive cost increases for regional airline flights compared to the current tax environment. These cost increases place significant and unfavorable cost pressure on the regional airline industry and stand to further erode air service to small and medium-sized communities across the country.
“Given that regional airlines are the only source of scheduled air service at nearly three-quarters of our nation’s airports, this proposal has the potential to wreak havoc on rural America.
“We are committed to a safe, efficient, and accountable ATC system. Therefore, the Regional Airline Association will continue to work with Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member DeFazio, and all Members of Congress to put together a bill that makes economic sense while increasing safety and delivering efficiencies for all stakeholders.”
The Regional Airline Association (RAA) provides a unified voice of advocacy for North American regional airlines aimed at promoting a safe, reliable, and robust regional airline industry. The RAA serves as an important support network connecting regional airlines, industry business partners, and government regulators in bolstering the industry; as well as promoting regional airline interests in a changing business and policy environment. With more than 11,200 regional airline flights every day, regional airlines operate 45 percent of the nation's commercial schedule.