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Mr. SAUNDERS. Mr. Pickle, as far as I can remember, I do not think we have been asked to appear before this committee on this topic before, no, sir.
Mr. Pickle. My question then would follow, how would the FAA feel about a procedure that would at least be informational or notification to this committee of expenditures of a certain amount for certain items, other than waiting for the end of the year and sometimes even 2 years when you review what you actually have accomplished, or how the money was spent?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Mr. Pickle, consistent with the appropriation process, and with the jurisdiction of committees, and complying with whatever the wish of Congress is, we will be glad to appear to discuss our plans when the time is appropriate and when it is possible for us to
Mr. PICKLE. I think that would be in order some time when appropriation matters are being reviewed, but the point I want to get to, would you think it would be agreeable to the FAA that this committee be notified through the Appropriations Committee or directly by you of the expenditures of funds for purposes that would be classified as of an emergency nature?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Mr. Pickle, since this involves not only a budget question-and our Director of Budget is not here--but also the policy of a new administrator, I would ask to defer on that question now, and perhaps submit the answer to you later. I do not feel I can answer the question at the present time.
(The information requested was not available to the committee at the time of printing.)
Mr. Pickle. Thank you.
Mr. Saunders, I appreciate the tremendous job and responsibility that you have, and I am in hearty accord, but there are two or three things that I would like to get clear in my mind. How many of these in excess of $50,000 emergency projections, in quotes, have arisen over or would you say would arise during the calendar year or the fiscal year?
Mr. SAUNDERS. I think they would be relatively few in number, Mr. Watson.
Mr. Watson. We are not talking about many at all. What has been our experience in the past, say over the past 5 years? How many of these projects have you had that you did not specifically anticipate?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Approximately 11 for National, and perhaps five for Dulles.
Mr. Watson. Or the past 5 years?
Mr. Watson. Now so that the record might be clear on this point, let us reduce the percentages we are talking about and increases in traffic to numbers. As I recall, you state that Dulles is handling about 2 million per year?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, that is right.
Mr. SAUNDERS. Passengers.
Mr. WATSON. And Washington National is handling about 10 million per year?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes.
Mr. WATSON. And you said there has been an increase of about 6 percent in Washington National? Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes.
Mr. Watson. My math, and I never was too good at it, would show that that would mean an increase of 600,000 at Washington National?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes.
Mr. Watson. And your 17 percent increase at Dulles would only be an increase of 340,000, so still you have approximately double the increase at Washington National which is already highly congested. Is that not a fair statement, or would my math not be correct?
Mr. SAUNDERS. The math sounds correct to me, Mr. Watson. That would be right.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Will you yield?
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Did we not develop that FAA has no control over passengers. The actual number of commercial aircraft transactions in and out went down, is that correct?
Mr. SAUNDERS. That is right.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. I think we ought to get it on the record here and make it very clear that this gentleman has nothing to do with the number of passengers that come in and out of the airport.
Mr. Watson. The gentleman from South Carolina did not mean even to imply that Mr. Saunders had anything to do with passengers. I think he missed the point. The point I was trying to make is that Mr. Saunders tried to impress upon us, or at least he impressed upon me, the fact that the problem is handling the passenger. That is the point I was trying to make, and yet we have almost double the increase in passengers in Washington National, which is already in desperate need of some new passenger facilities there. I think we will all agree, and that is the point I was trying to make. I am not suggesting for a moment that you get into the field, but I believe we had better be addressing ourselves to that particular problem. We cannot just come up and say, well, the increase is 17 percent at Dulles and only 6 percent at Washington National, because in passengers the percentages belie the true facts as to the aggravation of the problem that is existing. That is the point that I am trying to make, and I hope we will be addressing ourselves to that problem.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if we could not-I know we are going to let the witness go—I wonder if we could not at least ask the gentleman to try to work with us in differentiating what you call a true emergency. As much as I fly in and out of Washington National, I do not think you should even wait 5 minutes to fix up that row of lights out there, whether you have our permission or not. I want you to fix that row of lights because I fly in on them, and I want to make that understood, with or without our permission.
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, sir. Mr. KUYKENDALL. But I think you should_anticipate the influx of increasing baggage and this type of thing. I think that certainly would be anticipated. I cannot call that an emergency. So it would seem to me that in justice to this committee, Mr. Chairman, that we could ask the gentleman to separate between true emergencies and types of things. I think a damaged runway or that type of thing is a true emergency:
Mr. FRIEDEL. Let me make a little statement. I am not wedded to $50,000 on anything. What I want to do, the purpose of my bill is this-to have the FAA come before this committee and get the authorization without bypassing us. Now I really think that rapid ground transportation to Dulles and Friendship would have been a better study than to spend $300,000 to be advised we should spend $200 million more to modernize Washington National. We have a big, big airport out there at Dulles, and they can handle the 747 or anything imaginable right there. What I want the FAA to do is to come before our committee and get the authorization, and then go to the Appropriations Committee and if they say it is OK, they will give it to them. They might want to cut it further. This is the purpose of the bill, and I think the committee ought to be notified and briefed on and asked for what they would really need for the coming year. This is nothing new. But this committee should know what the funds are that are needed for next year and the year after, come before the committee and let us know.
Are there any other questions?
Mr. DEVINE. Just as a comment, I can understand the chairman's position, and I would agree that the Transportation and Aeronautics Subcommittee of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee should have juri-cliction or at least have knowledge of what is anticipated by the Federal Aviation Administration. I am not sure, however, that this bill is the vehicle to accomplish this. It would seem to me that we should call in the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and make clear what this committee expects. I do not think legislation is necessary.
Mr. FRIEDEL. If it is not necessary it is OK with me but I think we ought to be informed and know what they want to do, what they are asking for each year.
Mr. DEVINE. I think it can be done without this being the vehicle by which it is done.
Mr. FRIEDEL. As I said, I am not wedded to this particular bill.
AIR LINE Pilots ASSOCIATION,
Washington, D.C., March 3, 1969. Hon. SAMUEL N. FRIEDEL, Chairman, Subcommittee on Transportation and Aeronautics, Committee on Inter
state and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in response to the notice given by the Committee dated February 26, 1969, that public hearings will be held on March 4, 1969, on H.R. 2668, a bill “to provide that the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency shall not undertake certain projects to improve or expand Federal airports without specific authorization for such projects.” The notice permits little time for study of the bill and preparation of comments; however, we would request that the following comments on the proposed legislation be made a part of the record of the public hearing and that your Subcommittee consider the comments in its deliberations on H.R. 2668.
The Air Line Pilots Association is strongly opposed to H.R. 2668 and urges that the bill not be favorably reported.
If enacted into law, H.R. 2668 would require the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to have specific authorization by an Act of Congress before he could undertake any project costing $50,000 or more to improve or expand any airport owned and operated by the Federal Government and under his control. This would prevent the Administrator from reprogramming appropriation activities at these airports in response to unexpected or emergency conditions requiring immediate construction or maintenance for safe aircraft operations, if the activity cost $50,000 or more and improved the airport. For example, if a flood or other natural disaster, or a fire should render unusable a runway or any airport facility required for safe operations at the airport, it would be necessary for corrective action to be specifically authorized by an Act of Congress. Also, if a new device such as a fog dispersal system is perfected that would improve the safety and efficiency of operations at these airports, Congress would have to authorize the installation of such an improvement by a specific Act if the improvement cost more than $50,000.
We believe the purpose and need for the legislation is not clear. However, it is evident that the proposed legislation would result in greater delays than we have witnessed in the past with regard to the installation of equipment and construction of facilities necessary to safe airline operations at Federal airports under the Administrator's control. Moreover, we are firmly convinced that projects such as runway grooving, the installation of an additional ILS, the construction of a building necessary to provide adequate aircraft maintenance, etc., improve the safety of aircraft operation at airports and should be completed without the delays that would be required by a system whereby the Administrator can only undertake projects that have not only been programmed by him, but must have been specifically authorized and funded by the Congress. Unnecessary delay of these projects would compromise the safe and efficient air transportation of passengers and crews who fly in and out of the airports. Sincerely yours,
CHARLES H. Ruby, President. (Whereupon, at 11:20 a.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene subject to the call of the Chair.)
(Further hearings were tentatively set for later in the session but because of other legislative demands time did not permit.)