U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood reaffirmed the strength of the U.S. aviation industry on Jan. 23 in an address to the Aero Club of Washington marking four years to the day from when he was sworn in as Secretary of Transportation.
“The state of American aviation is strong and better poised to take on international competition than ever,” he said.
LaHood also went on to address the importance of NextGen, the next generation navigation system currently being deployed by the FAA. “NextGen is happening, and happening now… thousands of satellite procedures are being created and implemented.”
LaHood addressed the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), saying that the scheme is a “cloud hanging over Europe… it is our hope we can reign in the scheme and permanently suspend it.” The EU announced that it was temporarily suspending the scheme for foreign airlines for one year in November 2012 while international efforts proceed.
LaHood concluded by touching on the commitment of DOT to working with Congress, citing the competition of the FAA reauthorization as a first step. He also said he has met with the new chairman of the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Bill Schuster (R-Pa.), and is assured that he is committed to the DOT and FAA.
LaHood was followed by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta who reemphasized the agency’s commitment to NextGen and advancing safety “in every way.”
“The government and industry need to work together in today’s world… we are committed to fostering progressive innovation.”