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Government Security News February 2017 Digital Edition

Airport/Aviation

Airport/Aviation Security Passenger advocacy group lists concerns before airline CEOs meet with President Trump WASHINGTON, DC – Feb. 6, 2017 CEOs from the major U.S. Airlines will meet with President Trump on Thursday and will likely discuss air traffic control privatization and further limitations on foreign air competition. As profits soar to record levels, passengers face a reduction in flights, shrinking seats, and less reliable air travel especially from small and medium size cities, noted FlyersRights.org. Being exempt from state consumer protection laws is not enough for the airlines. They seek to block foreign competition from airlines such as Norwegian Air, WOW Airlines, and Emirates. Blocking foreign competition will result in higher Paul Hudson Flyer’s Rights Pres prices and fewer choices for consumers. Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org and member of the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, noted the similarities between the airline industry now and the railroad industry in the 19th century, “Then, railroads controlled long distance transportation, as well as the courts and government regulators. A new word was coined to describe their abusive treatment of the public: being railroaded. Today, Americans are being ‘airlined’.” Additionally, the airlines are pushing for privatization of the Air Traffic Control system. The plan for privatization leaves little room for government oversight over an inherently governmental function, would transfer all government air traffic control to a AMTRAK like entity controlled by the airlines, and grant a long list of demands sought by air controller union including the right to strike. Such legislation was passed by the House in the last Congress but not acted on by the Senate. FlyersRights.org is the United States’ largest airline passenger advocacy group. The organization is most famous for spearheading the Passenger Bill of Rights and the rule against tarmac confinements. Among the many services it provides for airline passengers, it operates a toll-free hotline and publishes a weekly newsletter. FlyersRights. org is currently appealing the FAA’s refusal to enact a rulemaking to address the problems of shrinking seat sizes to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Case 16-1101, FlyersRights Education Fund v. FAA). 14

Southwest and NetJets Pilots Urge President-elect Trump to Reverse NAI Foreign Carrier Permit DALLAS, TX – The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) is partnering with the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) to urge President-elect Trump to reverse the decision to grant Norwegian Air International a foreign carrier permit. The two groups will meet in the nation’s capital for a Rally for U.S. Aviation Jobs on January 24. In the final days of his administration, President Obama granted Norwegian Air International (NAI) a foreign carrier permit, placing tens of thousands of U.S. jobs at risk. “This decision is just another failed trade deal by the Obama administration, giving foreign companies an unfair advantage over U.S. companies,” said Captain Jon Weaks, SWAPA President. “Only President-elect Trump has the power to reverse the lame duck Obama Administration’s reckless approval of Captain Jon Weaks SWAPA President NAI before it takes effect on January 29.” The late-December decision to grant NAI a foreign carrier permit paves the way for NAI to execute on its flag of convenience (FOC) scheme. This permit allows for Norwegian to establish an Irish subsidiary in order to take advantage of Ireland’s impotent labor, tax, and social laws. This is exactly the type of scheme that decimated the U.S. shipping industry and will be the catalyst for a race to the bottom in the U.S. airline industry. Government affairs representatives from SWAPA and NJASAP continue to work every possible avenue to garner the attention of the president-elect and right this wrong. With the January 29 deadline looming, the groups believe that time is of the essence, and the time for action is now. “The Obama administration has tilted the field of play in favor of a foreign competitor and put thousands of good-paying, middle-class, U.S. aviation jobs at risk. It will be up to the Trump administration to save them,” said SWAPA 15 Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Chip Hancock. Added Weaks, “President-elect Trump was elected on a pro-American worker platform and has already delivered wins for several American companies. It is our sincere desire that the president-elect will right this wrong by repealing this detrimental ruling.” About SWAPA Located in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 8,500 pilots of Southwest Airlines. SWAPA works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights and actively promoting professionalism and safety. For more information on the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, visit www.swapa. org. Rally Hashtags: #DenyNAI #MakeItRight #ReverseObama