Release #06.026
June 13, 2006

ALPA Commends Amendment; Congress Must Vote to Block Foreign Control of U.S. Airlines

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Capt. Duane E. Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, issued the following statement after Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), and Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) announced that they will introduce the Oberstar-LoBiondo-Poe amendment to the Transportation-Treasury-HUD Appropriations bill. The amendment would prevent the Department of Transportation (DOT) from attempting to implement any change in the rules prohibiting foreign control of U.S. airlines.

“I applaud Representatives Oberstar, LoBiondo, and Poe for standing up for the U.S. airline industry, our national defense, and U.S. workers, by introducing an amendment that would put a halt to the DOT’s dangerously naïve proposal to allow foreign interests, including foreign airlines, to control U.S. airlines.

“The stakes are simply too high for a radical proposal of this nature, which would attempt to unilaterally overturn long-standing U.S. law, to be allowed to take place in the dark of night. Only Congress, not the Administration, can decide whether any change is necessary.

“The DOT and the Administration are attempting to steamroll the democratic process and recklessly force a radical policy change without exploring how allowing foreign entities to control U.S. airlines would affect our country’s economy, defense and jobs. The Administration has once again displayed remarkable short-sightedness in its zeal to appease European interests rather than safeguard the interests of U.S. citizens. With no guarantee that the U.S./EU Air Services Agreement will go forward even if this policy change is made, the Administration may be about to sacrifice key U.S. airline industry and worker interests for absolutely nothing.

“Today’s amendment is proof-positive that this fight is far from over. The U.S. Congress and the American people must not tolerate an extreme policy change to be undertaken outside of the democratic process and without proper Congressional consideration.”

ALPA represents 61,000 airline pilots at 39 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.

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ALPA CONTACTS: John Mazor, Linda Shotwell, Jeff Orschel, (703) 481-4440,