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 Home > News & Policies > September 2007

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 27, 2007

President Bush Meets with Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and Federal Aviation Administration Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell
Oval Office

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     Fact sheet Fact Sheet: New Steps to Address Airport Passenger Delays

2:20 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Today I'm joined by Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, and the Acting Administrator of the FAA, Bobby Sturgell. I want to thank you all for coming.

We've been having a discussion about the fact that a lot of our air travelers are not only inconvenienced, they're -- in some cases they're just not being treated fairly. And there's a lot of anger amongst our citizens about the fact that, you know, they're just not being treated right.

President George W. Bush speaks with members of the media in the Oval Office Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007, following his meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters about air traveler complaints and air traffic congestion. President Bush said he wanted to make sure that airline consumers are being treated fairly and that their complaints are heard. White House photo by Chris Greenberg And the Secretary and I have been talking about what to do about it, and I've instructed her to report back to me as quickly as possible on two matters: One, to make sure that consumers are treated fairly and complaints are listened to, and that we address some of the egregious behavior that our consumers have been subjected to. Endless hours sitting in a airplane on a runway, and there's no communication between the pilot and the airport is just not right. And so Mary is going to work very hard to make sure the system is much more responsive.

The other issue, of course, is dealing with congestion. One of the reasons why consumers on airlines, airline passengers are being so inconvenienced is because the skies are too crowded. And there's some short-term things we're going to do, and Mary is going to report back to me about what those will be.

Also Congress needs to look at this FAA reauthorization -- I call it "modernization" -- and work with this department, and work with Bobby bringing our FAA into the 21st century, so that our consumers and passengers and citizens won't be inconvenienced with it.

We've got a problem, we understand there's a problem, and we're going to address the problem. Madam Secretary, I appreciate your willingness to do so.

SECRETARY PETERS: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

END 2:21 P.M. EDT