A4A CEO Urges Committee to Pass AIRR Act

In House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing testimony, A4A CEO says travelers, shippers and U.S. economy have everything to gain from historic ATC reform

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2016 – Nicholas E. Calio, President and CEO of Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee regarding the U.S. airline industry’s support for Congress to deliver the world-class Air Traffic Control (ATC) system that the traveling and shipping public deserves.

In his testimony, Calio noted that the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act represents the most significant reforms to our national air space system in decades. Calio urged all members of the committee and all stakeholders to carefully examine how critical this transformational ATC reform is to the future of our economy, and to the traveling and shipping public who depend on safe, efficient and reliable air transportation in their daily lives.

“U.S. airlines connect the world like no other industry can and this legislation marks a historic step toward making our Air Traffic Control system the best it can be,” said Calio. “Delivering a more efficient system with proper governance, funding and accountability will bolster our nation’s first-rate safety record and make flying better – and at no additional cost to travelers. We thank the committee for its strong, bipartisan commitment to making our national airspace even safer and more efficient, and urge passage of the AIRR Act.”

A4A supports transforming our nation’s Air Traffic Organization system into to a not-for-profit, self-funded, independent organization governed by a board representing all major stakeholders, including the federal government, and protecting the public interest. The AIRR Act will result in more choices, more direct trips, lower fuel consumption, reduced emissions and – importantly – fewer flight delays for the traveling public.

Calio also noted that need for ATC reform has been well documented over the past 30 years, pointing to scores of Congressional hearings, Inspector General and Government Accountability Office reports, studies by at least four presidentially appointed non-partisan commissions and numerous independent private sector experts. Scores of third-party experts have found that the Federal Aviation Administration has not met expectations in delivering the state-of-the-art ATC system the U.S. needs to remain at the forefront of modern aviation technology and innovation.

“For decades, while the U.S. has talked about the need for ATC reform, 60 other countries around the world have acted, and now our nation must do the same if we want to reclaim our role as a global leader,” said Calio. “We can no longer afford to embrace a status quo that has not worked, is not working and is not capable of supporting such a critical driver of our economy in the future.”


Airlines for America (A4A) members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.

A4A advocates on behalf of the leading U.S. airlines, both passenger and cargo carriers. A4A works collaboratively with industry stakeholders, federal agencies, the Administration, Congress, labor and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

For more information about the airline industry, visit our website airlines.org and our blog, A Better Flight Plan, at airlines.org/blog.

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