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U.S. Chamber Urges Continued Focus on Aviation System

Monday, February 7, 2005 - 7:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce today announced its support for the administration's initiative to create the Next Generation Air Transportation System for the year 2025. The Chamber applauded President Bush, Transportation Secretary Mineta, and Federal Aviation Administrator Blakey for their leadership.

"Aviation is essential to virtually every industry and it is clearly at a crisis point. Millions of business transactions are made possible every day by aviation — a business trip to a meeting, a door-to-door air express shipment, a cargo shipment for international trade, or a general aviation trip to a manufacturing plant," said Thomas Donohue, Chamber President and CEO.

The business group stressed the crisis stage our aviation system is currently facing and called for an aggressive implementation schedule. "Without additional investment in our air traffic control system, the U.S. economy will suffer the consequences of gridlock and significant delay. The technology and infrastructure supporting our aviation system is aging without new systems ready to upgrade and replace them. A 20-year plan requires real investments behind it and Congress must address the nation's aviation needs sooner rather later," said Donohue.

Fully funding needed improvements in the civil aviation system is vital, according to the Chamber, given the industry's importance to the economy. The industry puts more than $900 billion into the U.S. economy annually – eight percent of the nation's gross domestic product – and supports 10 million jobs.

"The business community will work to build support for accelerated implementation and the necessary funding sources to meet these vital goals," said Donohue.

The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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