Commercial aviation helps drive more than 10M American jobs and 5 cents of every dollar of U.S. GDP
Commercial aviation drives more than $1 trillion per year in economic activity
In 2012, U.S. airlines moved more than 48,000 tons of cargo per day
In 2012, the value of a kilogram of U.S. merchandise exported by air averaged 121 times the value exported by sea
For every 100 airline jobs, some 360 are supported outside of the airline industry
Federal taxes constitute $61 – or 20% – of the price of a typical $300 domestic round-trip ticket
In 2012, U.S. airlines carried 16% more passengers and cargo than in 2000, while using two billion fewer gallons of fuel
Domestically, airlines drive 5% of economic activity but account for 2% of man-made GHG emissions
From 1978-2012, U.S. airlines improved fuel efficiency approximately 120%
From 1975-2012, U.S. airlines and their partners reduced significant noise exposure by 95%
Commercial air travel is the safest form of intercity transportation in the United States
From 2008 - 2012, scheduled air service on U.S. airlines was 42 times safer than in the 1970s.
From 2000-2012, U.S. airlines improved the on-time arrival rate from 72.6% to 81.9%
From 2000-2012, U.S. airlines reduced the flight cancellation rate sharply from 3.30% to 1.29%
Airfares are a bargain: From 2000-2012, U.S. CPI rose 33% while average domestic fare rose just 13%
Adjusted for inflation, the average round-trip domestic airfare fell 15% from 2000
2007 domestic flight delays cost the United States approximately $31 billion
In 2012, the value of U.S. merchandise exported by air reached an all-time high of $427B
In 2012, U.S. exports of air-travel services reached an all-time high of $39.4B, driving a $4.7B trade surplus
In 2012, U.S. passenger and cargo airlines spent more than $50B on fuel, averaging 36% of operating expenses
In 2012, U.S. airlines posted the lowest annual rate of mishandled baggage ever recorded
FAA projects U.S. air travel demand to top 1 billion passengers in 2027
In 2012, US airlines flew 83.4 million passengers in scheduled international service - a record high
In 2012, the total value of merchandise exported from or imported to the United States by air exceeded $927 billion
In 2012, 7.15 teragrams of merchandise was exported from or imported to the United States by air
The Honorable C. W. Bill YoungChairman Defense Subcommittee Committee on Appropriations U.S. House of RepresentativesWashington, D.C. 20515
As representatives of the farmers who grow energy crops, the advanced biofuels industry that uses plant material and technologies to produce fuel, and the customers who purchase advanced biofuels, we support government policies that improve national security, reduce military operational cost overruns, and diversify military fuel supplies. Accordingly, we are writing to request that you support the funding necessary to carry out the Department of Defense’s (DoD) commitment to accelerate production of American-made, advanced, “drop-in” biofuels for use in military jets, ships, and vehicles.
Last year, DoD entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy pledging a federal investment of $510 million, in partnership with the private sector, to advance the commercialization of U.S. advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to help power military and commercial transportation. Under the terms of the MOU, $170 million would be provided by each participating federal agency. This initiative would bring to market demonstrated alternative fuels and feedstocks technologies for the benefit of American national and energy security.
Adopting advanced, “drop-in” biofuels will help the DoD and the nation achieve broader national security objectives. U.S. access to the world’s oil supplies is not guaranteed. Continued reliance on foreign oil puts U.S. troops at risk of supply disruptions during military or humanitarian missions.Moreover, the oil market is unpredictable and the price per barrel of oil often has dramatic fluctuations, which wreaks havoc on military budgets. In fiscal years 2011 and 2012, for instance, DoD came up $5.6 billion short in its budget for military operations and maintenance because it spent more on fuel than anticipated. It has been noted that the DoD incurs $130 million in additional costs for every one dollar increase in the price per barrel of oil.
Budget shortfalls associated with fuel price spikes force military leaders to make tough decisions, such as asking Congress for supplemental resources that are difficult to secure in tough budget times or cutting back on steaming hours and flight training. Meanwhile, U.S. advanced biofuel producers have made rapid progress toward cost-competitiveness. Per gallon cost of test quantities of advanced biofuels under Navy contracts has declined more than 90 percent over the past two years and will continue to decline as these technologies scale to commercial production. DoD’s efforts to reduce use of foreign oil and increase use of American biofuels can provide more certainty for military fuel purchasers and therefore reduce the Department’s massive operational cost overruns.
Several DoD reports highlight the national security imperative of embracing policies that reduce the military’s overreliance on foreign oil. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review notes that the U.S. Navy, other branches of the military, and the nation as a whole face a significant national security threat from our nation’s reliance on foreign sources of energy. And, a July 2011 report titled “Opportunities for DoD Use of Alternative and Renewable Fuels” concludes that increasing the military’s use of renewable fuel helps advance U.S. strategic energy security interests.
The purpose of the MOU is consistent with history. The U.S. military has worked with Congress to develop and deploy innovative technologies that have improved national security and strengthened American military superiority at sea, in the skies and on the battlefield. Some examples of past security-driven, government-industry collaboration include domestic production of silicon carbide ceramics (used in nuclear reactors), indium phosphide and gallium arsenide (used in lasers and semiconductors), and aluminum and titanium, which are ubiquitous in nearly all major weapons systems.
DoD and Congress are poised yet again to strengthen security by working with American farmers and industry to tackle production and cost barriers that will help diversify the military and national fuel supply. We look forward to working with Congress on these and other DoD energy policy priorities, and ask you to support funding pursuant to the MOU. In particular, we ask that you provide the full amount of $89 million requested in the Fiscal Year 2013 DoD budget to carry out Defense Production Act (50 U.S.C. App. 2061, et seq.) activities.