Washington, DC (June 10, 2010) – The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) – the world’s leading association representing the business travel industry – this week welcomed more than 100 corporate travel professionals to the 8th Annual NBTA Legislative Summit in Washington, DC, an increase in attendance of more than 50 percent compared to last year. Delegates learned about current legislative affairs affecting the business travel industry and spent today meeting with their representatives on Capitol Hill to discuss aviation infrastructure updates and how effective management of government travel can save taxpayer money.
“The word is spreading – the NBTA Legislative Summit is an event all active corporate travel professionals should attend,” said NBTA President & CEO Craig Banikowski, CCTE, C.P.M., CMM. “Attendees are coming back year after year with colleagues in tow to take action on behalf of their industry. We have a duty to voice our concerns about and support for issues that directly affect the business travel industry, and the satisfaction in knowing you’ve done your part to help shape the industry is clearly infectious.”
While meeting with member of Congress, attendees urged representatives to:
· Enact FAA reauthorization to speed deployment of NextGen (the Next Generation Air Transportation System), which will increase capacity two to three times, increase safety and reduce emissions. NBTA members also expressed concern with a provision in the bill passed in the House that would increase the current cap on Passenger Facility Charges, but lauded the provision to ban cell phone voice communication on aircraft.
· Support enhanced travel management practices in each federal agency with the use of end-to-end travel tools and policies to maximize cost containment. Attendees also asked members of Congress to co-sponsor the Government Charge Card Abuse and Prevention Act of 2009, which would mandate quality control checks to the agencies’ travel card system.
Banikowski added, “The issues we’re discussing with our Congressional representatives impact not only the corporate travel industry, but also every tax payer in America. By updating the current 60-year-old air traffic control system, we could reduce flight delays by up to 40 percent and save 1 billion gallons of fuel each year. And billions of taxpayer dollars can be saved if the federal government implemented travel management practices proven in the corporate travel world. We’re walking the hall of Congress to further our careers, industry and communities.”
Veteran Journalist and Political Commentator Tucker Carlson enlightened and entertained the group with his look at the Obama Administration and the 2010 midterm elections. Attendees also heard from Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Timothy Burke, Director, Office of Travel and Transportation Servicers for the U.S. General Services Administration, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Paul Fontaine, Nextgen Expert, provided a look at the progress being made to update the U.S. air traffic control system.