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AIRLINES CALL ON CLINTON ADMINISTRATION TO MOVE BOLDLY TO RESTORE INDUSTRY'S HEALTH

 AIRLINES CALL ON CLINTON ADMINISTRATION TO MOVE BOLDLY
 TO RESTORE INDUSTRY'S HEALTH
 ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. airlines today called on President-elect Clinton to act boldly and quickly to rebuild an aviation industry that is vital to the nation's growth.
 Speaking to the ATA Purchasing & Supplier Forum in Orlando, Air Transport Association President Jim Landry said the airline industry lost more than $250 million in the usually profitable third quarter, and by the end of 1992 will have lost $8 million over a three-year period.
 Landry said part of the problem was the government, "with its suffocatingly costly regulation and taxation, unnecessarily inflating our cost base and undermining our ability to attract millions more passengers and shippers.
 "Past administrations and Congresses," Landry said, "seem to have forgotten that without airlines the U.S. economy would grind to a halt. For every new jet order that's canceled, for every jet that's parked in the desert, thousands of jobs are lost, not only in the airlines but in hundreds of other industries that rely on the air travel business. A healthier climate for the airlines would go a long way toward getting the rest of the economy moving again and putting people back to work."
 Landry said airlines are continuing to face billions of dollars in regulations that drive up the cost of providing air transportation, but do little or nothing to improve the safety or efficiency of the system.
 He gave as an example the government requirement for random drug testing on 50 percent of all employees in certain jobs. "Since the industry began performing drug tests," Landry said, "less than one half of 1 percent of all tests have been positive -- and most of those came in pre-employment screening, not random testing. We can achieve the same detection and deterrent benefits from reducing the test sample on airline employees from 50 to 10 percent, and save millions of dollars.
 "The airlines simply cannot afford such regulations while still keeping air transportation affordable and airline companies in business. All government regulations must undergo a rigorous cost- benefit scrutiny -- the type of which we have not seen in Washington in recent years," Landry said.
 "A better use of the airlines', the government's and the air travelers' money," he said, "would be to invest in broader improvement in the air transportation infrastructure, such as updating computer technology and expanding the capacity of the air traffic control system. Here again is an area where the new administration can achieve where past administrations have failed.
 "The government simply does not have an adequate management, personnel and procurement system to meet the demands of a rapidly changing, extremely high-tech industry," Landry said. He called on the new administration to accomplish the following four things:
 -- Simpler procurement rules that permit FAA to meet air traffic control's equipment needs on a timely basis.
 -- A steadier, more dependable stream of revenues for air traffic control and other FAA activities.
 -- More flexible personnel rules so that FAA can offer the kind of financial incentives needed to attract qualified personnel to understaffed facilities.
 -- A fixed term of office for the FAA administrator to ensure greater continuity of leadership at the agency.
 Landry said, "This is a golden opportunity for the new administration, for strong and imaginative leadership, to build an aviation infrastructure as big and as modern as the aviation industry it serves -- one that air travelers and shippers need and deserve -- one that will meet air transportation needs so vital to the nation's strength and growth."
 -0- 11/10/92
 /CONTACT: William Jackman of the Air Transport Association of America, 202-626-4172/ CO: Air Transport Association ST: District of Columbia IN: AIR SU:


KD -- DC018 -- 9328 11/10/92 13:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 10, 1992
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