Commercial aviation : a framework for considering federal financial assistance
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Commercial aviation : a framework for considering federal financial assistance

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  • English

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      NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Economics and Finance
    • Abstract:
      This is the statement of David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate regarding provision of financial assistance to the airlines. In summary, the government needs to clearly define the specific nature of the problems confronting the industry - separating out short-term needs versus long-term challenges and industry wants from genuine needs. While all airlines are now facing major financial challenges, government assistance cannot nullify the serious but different financial positions that several carriers faced prior to September 11. Congress may also wish to further distinguish between losses that are directly attributable to federal actions (such as the closing of the entire national airspace or Reagan National Airport) and those that are due to consumer shifts that may occur in the overall demand for air travel. The government has a range of tools it can consider to address the problems of the industry, from loans and guarantees to grants and tax subsidies. Federal aid should be viewed as targeted and temporary, and it should be designed to restore the industry to a self-sufficient financial position. Because these assistance programs pose an uncertain level of risk to the federal government, it is important to include appropriate mechanisms to protect the federal government and the American taxpayers from excessive or unnecessary losses.
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