immediate release -- Friday, February 5, 1999.
Bob Brammer -- 515-281-6699
in Rochester NY for Airline Competition Roundtable
General represents Iowa and State Attorneys General in forum aimed at bolstering
competition -- and lowering fares -- in airline industry.
Organized by U.S. Transportation Dept.
General Tom Miller is in Rochester NY today to represent the State of
Iowa and some thirty other state attorneys general in a forum organized
by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to consider what steps should be taken
to strengthen competition in the airline industry.
"The issue is competition," Miller said, "but what's at stake are lower
air fares and the economic well-being of Iowa and many other regions."
"Rochester is much like Des Moines," he said. "It's a mid-sized city whose
air service is dominated by the major carriers -- and whose air fares
are very high."
Miller, who is co-chair of a thirty state Airline Competition Working
Group of attorneys general, is taking part in a round-table led by U.S.
Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater. The "aviation competition listening
session" includes top-ranking officials from government, the major airlines,
low-cost and new-entrant airlines, traveler organizations, pilots, academic
experts, and several communities. Michael Audino, marketing director for
the Des Moines International Airport, is at the discussion to represent
the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Federation.
"I am happy to begin on the positive note that AccessAir, the first new
entrant airline in the U.S. since 1996, began its first full day of service
from Des Moines only yesterday," Miller said in remarks prepared for the
"I am here today to express my strong support for the efforts of the Secretary
and the Dept. of Transportation to create an open and fair competitive
environment in which AccessAir and other new-entrant and low-cost airlines
can compete on a level playing field," he said.
"The lack of real competition and meaningful access to air service fundamentally
weakens the economic development and vitality of our communities and states,
in addition to penalizing leisure travelers," Miller said.
Miller said he expected the forum to tackle several issues affecting airline
competition, including DOT competition guidelines, airlines' access to
"slots" at key airports, control of gates and facilities at key airports,
the need for venture capital for low-cost and new-entrant airlines, and
the potential anti-competitive impact of emerging "alliances" among the
nation's six major airlines.
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