Rules like this, developed for the airline industry, that lack an appropriate degree of business insight and day-to-day operational expertise from those responsible for rule implementation can cause a huge disconnect.
This proposed rule will impact thousands of jobs and service to small communities.
According to industry estimates and an Oliver Wyman analysis submitted to the White House, the rule could eliminate between 12,000 and 27,000 direct U.S. airline jobs, and has the potential of eliminating up to 400,000 related industry jobs. This potential loss of jobs is staggering and particularly troublesome at a time when unemployment persists above 9 percent and job creation is at the top of the agenda for the President and Congress.
Airlines will not be able to pass along the estimated $2 billion in annual costs that the revised rule would impose. As related costs soar, airlines will be forced to cut capacity in the hopes of maintaining profitability. In particular, service to less profitable small and rural communities that depend on air transportation to connect to the rest of the country and world would be impacted.
Reduced capacity and service means fewer employees and fewer choices for consumers.
ATA and its members are eager to work with the U.S. government to update any rule to make U.S. air transportation safer, based on science, research and operational data. The FAA proposal, as it stands, does not meet its safety objective.
Nicholas E. Calio is president and chief executive officer of the Air Transport Association of America.