ATA rejects passenger legislation

James C. May, president of the Air
Transport Association has testified before the Aviation Subcommittee of the House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee concerning customer service.The effects of severe weather events and an outdated air
traffic control (ATC) system can disrupt the plans of air travelers and
the airlines whose job is to transport them to their destinations. As
frustrating as these events have been, government-imposed, inflexible
operating standards will not improve and will likely aggravate these
severe weather events. Airlines need operational flexibility in order to
get passengers, crew members and airplanes to their destinations.

        Recently, carriers reviewed their policies and procedures,
updated contingency plans, and engaged staff at key airports in
discussions about dealing with severe weather situations. In addition,
ATA is looking forward to reviewing the DOT Inspector General report,
asked for by the ATA, that will make recommended improvements to
customer service.


“No passenger likes a delayed flight, but what they like even less is
not being able to get to their destinations at all,” said ATA President
and CEO James C. May. “The proposed hard limit on ground delays will
force airlines to inconvenience planeloads of people to satisfy the
demand of just one passenger to deplane. We do not think this is good
customer service.”



May continued, “Congress cannot legislate good weather or the best way
to respond to bad weather because every situation is unique. Instead, we
call on Congress to reduce flight delays by authorizing the
transformation to a satellite-based ATC system that will help relieve
the traffic jam in our skies that frustrates millions of passengers each
year. We cannot allow the FAA to be the administrator of inconvenience.”