11/13/2009

Following a closed-door meeting with aviation stakeholders, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Thursday announced formation of a federal panel charged with producing "a roadmap for the future of the aviation industry." Airlines pressed for greater federal investment in NextGen. They also urged the government to resist calls for greater regulation, and to not introduce new taxes and burdens on the industry -- a policy US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker described as "do no harm" in a letter to LaHood. James May, president and CEO of the Air Transport Association, said "Ultimately, a healthy airline industry will help drive the nation's economic recovery." Union officials said they were not seeking re-regulation of the industry, though they hoped to see higher barriers to entry designed to discourage the formation of new low-cost carriers.

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