The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 16, 2008

Statement by the Press Secretary

Last fall, amid some of the worst flight delays in U.S. history, President Bush directed Transportation Secretary Mary Peters to take action to address air-traffic congestion.

Today, Secretary Peters announced a series of steps that will reduce flight backups, add competition, lower fares, and give airlines incentives to offer better service.

As an emergency first step, caps have been negotiated for flight operations at the overscheduled New York City airports that are the source of many of the flight delays that ripple through our national system.

To ensure that in the long run the caps don't lead to less competition and higher airfares, sensible market mechanisms will be employed to distribute airport take-off and landing slots to encourage more efficient use of precious airspace.

While these reforms and capacity improvements will improve air travel this summer, there remains a pressing need for Congress to update our aviation financing structure in ways that will encourage the long-overdue modernization of our air-traffic control system.

The American public deserves relief and should not have to miss family occasions or business opportunities as a result of today's chronic flight delays.

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