Mayors gather to discuss air travel industry
By the end of 2008, dozens of airports across the country will have lost the entire scheduled service from at least one airline, a loss that will hurt the economic growth in the cities that operate those airports, according to information presented by the Washington-based Airport Transport Association (ATA) during a summit held in early October in Palm Beach, Fla., by the Washington-based U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM). Attendees also heard from Washington-based U.S. Travel Industry Association experts that 78 percent of travelers responding to a survey believe the nation’s air travel system is “broken,” leading to a reduction in tourism in the nation’s major cities.
In response, the mayors are calling for reforms to ensure that the Transportation Security Administration is using the most up-to-date technology to protect flyers, and are asking the airline industry and federal government to accelerate research and development of alternative fuels to compensate for the effect of record high fuel prices on the industry. “Mayors recognize that arts, culture, travel and tourism are driving forces for America’s diplomacy and economy,” USCM President and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz said in a statement. “For too long, we have dealt with these issues in a piecemeal fashion and have not addressed the needs of these industries in a comprehensive manner.”
The complete USCM statement is available at