Friday, December 17, 2010
The Future of Aviation Advisory Committee has posted its full presentation to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood here. The recommendations cover, inter alia, air transport issues relating to the environment, finance, competiveness, viability, labor, and safety. While there are a number of good ideas contained in the report, in the area of trade in air services, the recommendations left much to be desired.
In essence, the recommendations reaffirmed the tenets of the 1995 U.S. International Air Transport Policy Statement, 60 Fed. Reg. 21,841 (May 3, 1995), which--though remarkably progressive for its time--fails to address important issues such as crossborder mergers, air carrier access to global capital markets, and the full removal of entry barriers to the U.S. market. Instead, the recommendations focus on exhorting the DOT to "strengthen the competitive position of [U.S.] air carriers to at least ensure equality with foreign air carriers," a mandate which could easily be misconstrued as encourging the government to directly manage the competitive process of the international market.