LaHood hints at possible equipage subsidies

From the Associated Press:

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday he thinks the Obama administration will seek financial aid for airlines to pay for equipment onboard planes that will be needed to move to a satellite-based air traffic control system.

LaHood, speaking at a luncheon of the Aero Club of Washington, said he expects the White House to “rally some dollars” in response to a request from airline industry officials who met with the administration’s top economic adviser, Lawrence Summers.

“I could tell from just talking to Larry today that those of you who met with Larry Summers really made an impact on him,” LaHood told the audience of 700, which included many airline industry officials.

“I believe you are going to see some movement here on the part of the administration, on the part of Larry Summers and certainly from our point of view, to see if we can really rally some dollars and get some of these dollars that are necessary to get us to NextGen,” he said. [..]

The meeting with Summers … included James May, president and CEO of the Air Transport Association, which represents most large airlines, and officials from United and Southwest airlines, said an industry official who asked not to be named because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

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