Dingell Takes the Crash and Burn Approach

Today, Citizens for a Sound Economy criticized Rep. Dingell’s bill to re-regulate the airlines. The bill would punish consumers for the faults of regulation and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Erick Gustafson, Director of CSE’s Center for Consumer Choice, issued the following statement:

“Consumers are upset and deserve results, unfortunately Mr. Dingell’s bill would only exacerbate these problems because it ignores the real issues. Instead, lawmakers should turn their attention to FAA reform and infrastructure upgrades.

“The final report issued by the Transportation Department’s Office of the Inspector General suggested that consumers should pay for the delays in runway construction and air traffic control modernization in the form of higher fares and fewer flights.

“To maintain safety with outdated equipment, air traffic controllers slow everything down and let traffic build and build until there are delays. The system is stretched to its outer limits. Yet instead of addressing the real issue-FAA reform, including satellite navigation, airspace redesign, and new runways-regulations on airlines would increase ticket prices and reduce the number of flights.

“If airlines are mandated to reduce flight delays they will have no choice but to cancel flights. This approach is ludicrous; it would be like California dealing with its energy crisis by imposing new regulations on what consumer electronics Circuit City may sell. The answer is FAA reform and infrastructure expansion, not higher prices and fewer flights.”