September 3, 2008

AAAE Energy/Air Service Task Force Issues Report, Recommendations

The AAAE Energy/Air Service Task Force, nearly 100 airport executives representing airports of all sizes from around the country, has developed for lawmakers and regulators a set of recommendations critical to maintaining necessary levels of air service in the U.S. in the wake of rising fuel costs and air service cutbacks.

The recommendations, made public today in the AAAE Energy/Air Service Task Force Report, focus on three areas: a national energy policy, a national air service policy, and emergency measures to help airlines, airports and local communities that have been hit hard by skyrocketing fuel prices and air service losses.

The task force listed 18 recommendations related to a U.S. energy policy. Those recommendations address production/supply, conservation, and innovation within aviation sector, plus broader national policy initiatives.

The task force's 30-plus recommendations on a national air service policy seek to ensure universal access to air service, give airports greater financial flexibility and expedite existing initiatives--such as FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System--that will modernize the nation's air transportation system and help the airlines save fuel.

The airport executives also made 14 "emergency action" recommendations aimed at providing relief to airlines, airports and communities in an immediate crisis situation caused by high energy prices.

"The task force's work and resulting recommendations show the enormity of the challenge that the aviation industry faces as it grapples with rising fuel costs and the resulting impact on air service and general aviation operations," said Aspen/Pitkin County Aviation Director and AAAE Chair Jim Elwood, A.A.E. "Our recommendations reflect the views of a cross-section of airports that serve as the foundation of our national air transportation system, and we hope our report will serve as a guide for lawmakers and regulators as they contemplate key policy decisions to address emerging energy and air service issues."

AAAE, on behalf of the task force, will deliver the recommendations to Congress and urge lawmakers to keep the aviation industry's unique challenges and value to the economy in mind as they push forward on a national energy policy. AAAE also will work with lawmakers, regulators and other aviation groups on solutions aimed at ensuring that necessary levels of air service are maintained at communities around the country.

The task force, organized by AAAE at the urging of its members, held its inaugural meeting on July 9 in Washington, D.C. Members approved the final list of recommendations in August.

Access the report online at the following link:

ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE ( is the world's largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's 5,000-plus members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry.