Yesterday we hosted the Administration’s first forum on the future of the U.S. aviation industry. We told participants--airports, air carriers, management, labor, air carriers, manufacturers, general aviation and consumer groups-–we wanted a frank and open discussion about our challenges and the way forward.
That’s why we're forming an advisory committee to examine the industry, its competitiveness, and its ability to address evolving transportation needs, challenges, and opportunities of the global economy. The committee will be composed of stakeholders from across the industry.
This is not going to be just another advisory committee, and I am not commissioning some report to fill space on my bookshelf. This committee will make a difference.
As a measure of how important the future of the aviation is to us, this is the first committee established under the Obama Administration's DOT that will report directly to me.
Look, without a financially strong aviation industry, we will be unable to compete in domestic and international commerce. We could also fall behind in addressing our own infrastructure needs. So we must begin this important conversation in order to ensure a viable, competitive U.S. aviation industry.
Of course, safety must remain our absolute top priority going forward. That is why we need the NextGen air traffic control system. Sticking with a piecemeal system designed in World War II makes no sense from a safety point of view or an economic point of view.
But let's be clear about this: I have not heard one word in this Administration about re-regulating the industry.
This country has an aviation system that is losing billions of dollars, shedding jobs, and using an aging infrastructure. It's time to get to work fixing it.