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Commercial Aviation: A Framework for Considering Federal Financial Assistance

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We appreciate the opportunity to testify on an issue so important to the national interests. On September 11, 2001, thousands of Americans were killed or injured through terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and in the crash that occurred in Pennsylvania. We mourn their deaths and extend our deepest sympathies to their loved ones. While the human toll of last weeks events was tragic and significant, there were economic implications as well. The jobs of many employees and the retirement funds of others are threatened in the aftermath of these attacks. In addition, aviation and related industries have suffered significant additional financial losses which are projected to continue, perhaps threatening the viability not just of individual firms, but of the entire industry. Estimates of the total expected loss for major U.S. commercial passenger alrlines for this year range from over 4 billion by many industry analysts to over 20 billion by certain airline officials. The continuation of a strong, vibrant, and competitive commercial air transportation system is in the national interest. A financially strong air transport system is critical not only for the basic movement of people and goods, but also because of the broader effects this sector exerts throughout the economy. As a result, the federal government may need and want to provide financial assistance to this industry. At the same time, care must be taken to assure that the interest of the federal government and the American taxpayers are safeguarded in connection with any such assistance program.

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  • Commercial and General Aviation
  • Economics and Cost Analysis

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