US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement following markup of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill:
“The Senate THUD bill is a huge victory for policies that are pro-connectivity, pro-growth and pro-traveler.
“With the inclusion of provisions that will help to modernize airports and protect our Open Skies agreements with other countries, Senate appropriators have taken a broad view of the well-being of the U.S. travel industry and the 15.3 million domestic jobs it supports. Better airports and more visitors to the U.S. translate to an abundance of quality jobs. In an environment when there is so much pressure to embrace policies that favor narrow industry segments—but would be inarguably detrimental to travel volume and job creation overall—the Senate is to be congratulated for its informed and far-thinking approach.
“The Passenger Facility Charge was created expressly to bolster airline competition, and updating it is a long-overdue win for travelers and the U.S. economy. Improving airport infrastructure was a core campaign promise for the president, and seeing this measure across the finish line would represent a major legislative achievement.
“Open Skies agreements have led to hundreds of thousands of new American travel and manufacturing jobs, billions in U.S. economic growth, lower airfare for travelers, more flights to more airports, and new opportunities for U.S. airlines. The Appropriations Committee’s THUD report dismisses the U.S. legacy carriers’ parochial arguments to roll back those agreements.
“By prioritizing Open Skies policies and airport improvements, the bill takes a monumental step in the right direction to make our air travel system more modern, connected and competitive.
“The travel community thanks Sens. Cochran, Leahy, Collins and Reed, and all members of the committee for their work on these critical economy-building issues.”