Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Air Transportation in the United States in the 21st Century

2167 Rayburn House Office Building

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0 Wednesday, March 08, 2017 @ 10:00 | Contact: Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446

This is a hearing of the Subcommittee on Aviation.

Summary of the Subject Matter
Official Hearing Transcript

  • Mr. Brad Tilden, Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Air Group, Inc. | Written Testimony
  • Mr. Russell Childs, Chief Executive Officer, SkyWest, Inc. | Written Testimony
  • Mr. Joseph Hete, Chief Executive Officer, Air Transport Services Group, Inc. | Written Testimony
  • Ms. Sara Nelson, International President, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA | Written Testimony
  • Mr. Charles Leocha, Chairman and Co-Founder, Travelers United | Written Testimony

Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)
Subcommittee on Aviation
Hearing on “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Air Transportation in the United States in the 21st Century”
March 8, 2017
(Remarks as Prepared)

Today the Aviation Subcommittee is holding the third hearing in preparation for the upcoming FAA reauthorization.

As all of you know, the focus of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this year is “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America.”  Today, we will be looking at the current state of our Nation’s air transportation system and those who operate in it.  We will also learn what those operators believe are needed for that system in the future.


And we also want to learn from those in the public in the days ahead. We have created a dedicated email address to receive your ideas: transportfeedback@mail.house.gov.  Please send us your ideas. 

Air transportation has become so commonplace that we really do not think about what an impact it has on our daily lives.  Journeys that once took days, weeks or even months now are safely completed in hours.  We can order something on-line and have it delivered the next day. 

Today, air travel is routine and readily available to millions of Americans.  In fact, last year, more than 800 million passengers traveled by air within the United States, a figure that is projected to grow to one billion within 10 years.

This remarkable system is a testament to the hard work of pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and others who take us safely across the country and the world. 

Air transportation in the United States is diverse.  Along with private aviation, it also includes mainline airlines, regionals, all-cargo airlines, and charter companies, each playing a vital role in meeting various needs of the traveling public and economy. 

Mainline airlines connect our major cities and also connect us to other countries.

Regional airlines help connect many small- and medium-size communities to large hub airports providing them access to the globe. 

For other communities and certain travelers, such as small business operators, charter service or fractional ownership may be the only viable air travel option. 

Cargo airlines allow our factories and supply chain inventories to remain fully stocked and keep goods flowing between businesses and to consumers.  They also play a huge role in e-commerce.

Our panel today represents a range of air transportation companies and stakeholders.  Each witness brings a unique perspective on the state of our system.  I look forward to their testimony on how Congress can help facilitate the building of a 21st century aviation infrastructure.

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