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Federal Regulations Ground Air Carriers with Needless Baggage, Taxpayer Group's Study Finds
For Immediate Release July 27, 2005
(Alexandria, VA) -- Despite billions in taxpayer aid, federal meddling in the aviation industry has booked many U.S. air carriers on a flight to fiscal ruin, according to the latest study from the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU). The citizen group's "policy paper" explores how government micromanagement exacerbates industry problems to the detriment of U.S. taxpayers and airlines.
"From the perspective of taxpayers, it is essential that Congress create an environment that allows airlines to take off or be grounded on their own merits in the closest thing possible to a free marketplace," said NTU Director of Government Affairs and study author Paul Gessing. According to the study, while deregulation in 1978 was a positive step toward reducing federal interference in the aviation marketplace, the limited scope of this model and the rise of security as a major new cost component has preserved and even extended the government's role. Among the highlights:
"Nearly 30 years after a growth spurt introduced innovation and competition into the industry and brought the convenience of flying to the masses, Congress refuses to release its iron grip," Gessing concluded. "Only when that happens will the creative energies of the next Howard Hughes or [Southwest Airlines founder] Herb Kelleher once again be released to the benefit of travelers and the global economy alike."
NTU is a non-partisan citizen group founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes and smaller government. Note: NTU Policy Paper 117 Time to Re-deregulate the Airline Industry is available at www.ntu.org.