Tag Archives: RAA

In downturn, RAA’s Cohen sees opportunity to improve ATC

Regional Airline Association (RAA) President Roger Cohen gave an interview to Aviation International News, in which he expressed optimism about a certain “breathing room” that has emerged in the shrinking airline industry. Cohen believes this period provides a window in which capacity and congestion issues can be “fixed.”

“We joined with every other aviation alphabet organization in saying this downturn in the economy really has given us great breathing room to begin speeding up the implementation of an improved ATC system,” said Cohen. “That has been a continuing theme RAA has [pressed], because we account for half the flights, and the majority of those on one end is one of the busy connection hubs.” [..]

Cohen said that the industry finds itself in an unwinnable situation as it cuts capacity and less traffic leads to fewer delays. “I think this industry gets screwed no matter what,” he said bluntly. “If [congestion is] a front-page item, we get slot auctions and everybody complaining about airline delays, and when we work to solve them, either because of fewer flights or because everyone’s doing a better job, then it takes off the pressure and we miss another opportunity to fix the system.”

Nevertheless, Cohen expressed enthusiasm about the direction the new Administration appears headed on issues such as Essential Air Service funding and congestion pricing, for example.

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Trade groups, airlines lobby jointly for stimulus funds

from Bloomberg:

U.S. airlines and small-jet owners have joined forces to lobby for $4 billion in economic-stimulus aid, setting aside a two-year dispute over air-traffic control costs.

Nine Washington-area trade groups representing carriers, plane users such as PepsiCo Inc., and manufacturers including Boeing Co. are seeking aid to advance the government’s so-called Next Generation overhaul of air-traffic control technology. They say they want to ensure lawmakers don’t overlook aviation in the $775 billion stimulus plan proposed by President-elect Barack Obama.

“There’s recognition amongst all of us that the only way we’re going to move NextGen is if we’re united,” said Sharon Pinkerton, vice president for government affairs at the Air Transport Association, in an interview.

Those groups include the Air Transport Association, Regional Airline Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Aerospace Industries Association, National Business Aviation Association, Cargo Airline Association, Nationa Air Carriers Association, National Air Transportation Association, and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

In speaking about a possible stimulus package last week, American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey told reporters he felt his industry should benefit. From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

“I would like to think that the airline industry would merit a great deal of attention,” [Arpey] said. Airlines, rocked by skyrocketing fuel costs through the summer, were subsequently faced with an economic slowdown that has curtailed demand.
“We seem to have experienced an almost seamless transition in which our fuel cost crisis has been replaced by a potential air travel demand crisis,” Arpey told reporters.

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