WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, applauded House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) for outlining the strategic importance of the U.S. aviation industry to American jobs and our overall economy.
Following Shuster’s speech to the International Aviation Club, where he outlined a bold vision to strengthen the aviation industry, A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio stressed the airlines commitment to working with the Chairman, and all Members of Congress, to ensure the U.S. airline industry can continue to drive the economy and jobs.
Shuster noted that aviation is a critical segment of our economy that provides millions of American jobs, and is responsible for over a trillion dollars in economic activity every year.
“It is important that we work together to protect and strengthen this vital pillar of our economy,” Shuster said. “Our aviation system, and the federal laws that provide for its structure, must evolve and modernize.”
“A healthy and vibrant U.S. airline industry benefits customers, employees and our overall economy – we applaud Chairman Shuster’s leadership in presenting a strategic vision to ensure our government does its part to maintain the best aviation system in the world,” said Calio.
Calio applauded Chairman Shuster’s recognition that foreign governments treat their airlines as a strategic asset to drive economic growth, and noted that the U.S. government and economy would benefit from doing the same.
“We are not asking the U.S. government to put its thumb on the scale on our behalf, but rather to implement common-sense policies that allow the entire aviation industry to fulfill its potential to generate good paying jobs, benefit communities that depend on us and present even more formidable competition to our global challengers,” said Calio.
Calio also reiterated Shuster’s calls for common-sense tax reform, noting the overwhelming federal tax burden facing the industry. Air travel is actually taxed at a higher federal rate than “sin” products like alcohol and tobacco, which are taxed to discourage use. Over the past four decades, the tax burden on a typical $300 round-trip ticket has nearly tripled from $22 to $61.
“Chairman Shuster’s call for common-sense tax reform, and not treating airlines like piggy banks, is a welcome message to an industry sending $19 billion in taxes to the federal government each year,” said Calio. “We look forward to continuing discussion with Chairman Shuster about ways to achieve our shared goal of keeping America as the world leader in aviation.”
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. A4A airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. America needs a cohesive National Airline Policy that will support the integral role the nation’s airlines play in connecting people and goods globally, spur the nation’s economic growth and create more high-paying jobs.