RAA Congratulates Pete Buttigieg on Nomination to be Transportation Secretary

Washington, DC, December 16, 2020. Media contact: media@raa.org

Following yesterday’s announcement by President-Elect Joe Biden naming the Honorable Pete Buttigieg as future Transportation Secretary, Regional Airline Association (RAA) President and CEO Faye Malarkey Black offered the following statement:

“On behalf of RAA and its members, I congratulate Pete Buttigieg on his nomination to serve as the next Department of Transportation Secretary.

Buttigieg is a talented and driven public servant who has called for gathering individuals from all parties across the political spectrum to work together and who demonstrated, during his tenure as Mayor of South Bend, a strong focus on revitalization through infrastructure. His tenacity and grit will serve him well in leading the Department of Transportation during such a critical time for the aviation industry, which continues to suffer tremendous harm under the demand shock associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As passenger demand plunged due to the pandemic and its associated stay-at-home orders, quarantines and other travel restrictions, airlines have been forced to shed workers and cut flights. Unfortunately, one in five markets served last year is no longer served.

As the new Administration takes office, RAA will engage with transition officials to convey the importance of restoring air service by regional airlines, which provide the only source of air service for two-thirds of the nation’s commercially served airports and to share the vital role regional airlines play in driving economic health at smaller communities. 

RAA looks forward to working together with Buttigieg and the Department on critical issues facing the aviation industry and regional airlines in particular, shoring up programs that support small communities like Essential Air Service and the Small Community Air Service Development Program, continuing oversight and implementation of the Payroll Support Program currently before Congress, ensuring tomorrow’s aviation workforce gets a strong start today through better access to education funding, and by advancing policies that ensure the health of the regional airline industry and the small communities it serves.  

Working together, we can assure regional airlines contribute to an American recovery and help build a future where communities of all sizes can thrive again.”

About RAA  
The Regional Airline Association (RAA) provides a unified voice of advocacy for North American regional airlines aimed at promoting a safe, reliable and strong regional airline industry. RAA serves as an important support network connecting regional airlines and industry business partners. In the United States, regional airlines operate 40% of scheduled passenger flights and provide the only source of scheduled air service to 66% of the nation’s airports. Regional airlines provide 75% or more of the air service in Alabama (76%), Alaska (88%), Arkansas (83%), Idaho (75%), Iowa (76%), Kansas (78%), Maine (77%), Mississippi (77%), Montana (78%), Nebraska (90%), North Dakota (87%), South Dakota (85%), Vermont (77%), West Virginia (92%), and Wyoming (78%). Regional airlines provide half or more of the air service in Indiana (61%), Kentucky (67%), Michigan (57%), New Hampshire (61%), New Mexico (53%), North Carolina (54%), Ohio (58%), Oklahoma (51%), Oregon (50%), Pennsylvania (53%), Rhode Island (54%), South Carolina (54%), Tennessee (47%), Virginia (58%) and Wisconsin (61%).