April 10, 2006
ALPA Calls on Senate to Hold Hearing on DOT Bid to Allow Foreign Control of U.S. Airlines
Pilots Commend U.S. Senate for Blocking Radical Proposal in Committee
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The head of the world’s largest pilots’ union, Capt. Duane Woerth, issued the following statement calling on the U.S. Senate to hold a public hearing on a Department of Transportation (DOT) proposal to allow foreign control of U.S. airlines immediately after it returns from recess.
“The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, commends the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for voting to delay a DOT proposal that would allow foreign control of U.S. airlines, but it is imperative that this proposal also receive full public scrutiny through a hearing.
Without a U.S. Senate hearing, the American public will not have the opportunity to explore the full implications of this radical effort to overturn longstanding policy and to understand why such a change is being proposed at this time.
“Opposition to the DOT proposal has spread across Capitol Hill. Thanks to the leadership of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment prohibiting the DOT from spending any funds to issue or to implement the proposal before October 1, 2006. In the U.S. House of Representatives, more than 180 members have now co-sponsored H.R. 4542, which would prevent the DOT from proceeding with any rulemaking for 120 days and which would order the agency to bring the proposal before Congress. The efforts of House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Don Young (R-AK), Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) were essential to reining in the DOT’s effort to rush through its proposal.
“Both Houses of Congress and the public have spoken out in strong opposition to this proposal. The message to the DOT is crystal clear: halt all efforts on foreign control rulemaking until and unless the proposal is brought before Congress.
“The DOT’s effort to force this radical policy change into effect and avoid public scrutiny is a blatant attempt to appease European interests to the detriment of the U.S. airline industry, the safety and security of our nation’s air transportation system, our national defense, and U.S. workers.”
ALPA represents 62,000 airline pilots at 39 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. The text of ALPA’s submission can be found at www.alpa.org.
# # #
ALPA CONTACTS: Linda Shotwell, John Mazor, (703) 481-4440, firstname.lastname@example.org