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Senate Proceeding 03-17-10 on Mar 17th, 2010 :: 1:56:35 to 2:07:15
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John Rockefeller

1:56:32 to 1:56:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: us to expedite this so that we can finish this bill early tomorrow. thank you mr. president, and i thank the chairman as well for mr. rockefeller: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. rockefeller: i think the distinguished chairman of the judiciary committee wants to

John Rockefeller

1:56:35 to 2:07:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Rockefeller

John Rockefeller

1:56:55 to 1:57:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: speak, waiting for something, so i'll -- you know, this federal aviationill is enormous in scope but we're doing it with little piece pieces and it has seven different titles in it. and one of them has to do with

John Rockefeller

1:57:16 to 1:57:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: community air service to ruler -- to rural ring underserved areas, which is very important in my state and the presiding officer officer's state, and really all states. even california and new york have very rural areas where they need air service. i spent 10 years chairing the aviation subcommittee, and i enjoyed it enormously.

John Rockefeller

1:57:37 to 1:57:57( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: and i now chair the full committee, which i enjoy enormously. but one focus throughout has been trying to protect small and rural communities, because the fact of life is that -- and give them air service. they travel. and if the local airport

John Rockefeller

1:57:58 to 1:58:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: promotes itself as a product must -- it's not just a place people go to, they have to announce themselves to the public and say, we can here, we can take you there, while others of us try to get folks in. it's tremendous important. and they're worth fighting for and we do that. and large and urban states

John Rockefeller

1:58:19 to 1:58:39( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: sometimes question that, but if they look in their hearts, they have a lot of the same requirements themselves. it's really about equality, and it's about the economy, and it's about fairness. what is the difference between somedy from the city and somebody from a smaller

John Rockefeller

1:58:40 to 1:59:00( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: community if both do business? one may not have a big jet. therefore, they require a small -- smaller airplane. a commuter airplane. -- to get to where he or she wants to go. but it's important they be able to get there.

John Rockefeller

1:59:01 to 1:59:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: so it's vital to our economy. every single business considers, along with the school system, the so-called quality of life, the crime rate, all of this, they consider air service when they're deciding whether or not to locate or to expand in their -- in a particular state. and so, for that we have this wonderful program called the essential air service, the

John Rockefeller

1:59:22 to 1:59:42( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: e.a.s. it's a program which has proved vital to communities across this country. it's allowed them to keep air service that they might otherwise not be able to keep, and literally so. it doesn't bail them out to do that. i mean, it doesn't pay the cost of that, but it helps them.

John Rockefeller

1:59:43 to 2:00:03( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: and they use it. the first option air carriers naturally but regrettably as far as a small community is concerned, if they're in distress, as our airlines, our legacy airlines in particular have been in recent years, they go to the end of the food chain to make their first cuts, and

John Rockefeller

2:00:04 to 2:00:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: that's always the small communities, the small airports and the small centers. that doesn't make them less important. every time i think about that, i think about i ran for governor and i was defeated and i became president of a wonderful small private college which had a grass airfield. and they didn't get any federal

John Rockefeller

2:00:26 to 2:00:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: help because you can't do that with grass. but i always rember that there was always a little yellow farmhouse when i drove out there, and it's the same little yellow farmhouse today. but if you go inside, it's a worldwide educational, you know,

John Rockefeller

2:00:47 to 2:01:08( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: c.d. video, it's the highest possible technology company that you could imagine. it just doesn't want to build a big building. it is happy to be in this little yellow farmhouse. you don't have to have tall skyscrapers to do business. so, the small community air service development program has

John Rockefeller

2:01:09 to 2:01:30( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: really helped people. my bill takes several important steps to kay bailey hutchison's in my bill. we work side by side every step of the way, sort of a perfect combination, as ranking and chairman. we do several things.

John Rockefeller

2:01:31 to 2:01:51( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: increase the authorized funding for essential air service to $175 million. that's an increase of $48 million. that's not a whole lot of money pwurbgs on a nationwide basis -- but on a nationwide basis, that does a lot. that keeps many, many small airfields open and allows them

John Rockefeller

2:01:52 to 2:02:13( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: to have control towers and run air service. we permit the federal aviation administration to incorporate financial incentives into contracts with the essential air service carriers toncourage better service. you have to keep your eye on that. it's not just a question that senator dorgan has talked about,

John Rockefeller

2:02:14 to 2:02:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: and that is what is the name on the airplane. and sometimes there are two names and you don't know which one you're riding on. is it united, is it colgan or what. you need to know that, and we correct that elsewhere in another title in our bill. we also authorize the federal aviation administration to negotiate longer-term essential air service contracts. well, that makes sense because

John Rockefeller

2:02:37 to 2:02:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: that gives aense of stability and predictability to an airfield, to a small airfield and to the public, which is interested in it. we authorize the development of financial incentives for carriers to improve. as i indicated, their service.

John Rockefeller

2:02:59 to 2:03:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: it's really quite amazing, the whole structure of what people get paid to fly to these little carriers, commuter airlines. i'm not going to say the name of their salaries because you'd be shocked. they get paid a lot less than teachers.

John Rockefeller

2:03:20 to 2:03:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: they accept that because of the seniory system says if you've flown a long time, you get paid a lot. people have sort of accepted that, and people who fly love to fly. but you have to keep your eye always on the quality of the service. maintenance is a very high order because that's the kind of thing which could be neglected and

John Rockefeller

2:03:41 to 2:04:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: people might not notice. it's just like keeping up your house. you can't defer maintenance. you pay a terrible price. in the case of airlines, the price is very obvious. so, we also authorize the airport improvement progr to convert essential air service,

John Rockefeller

2:04:02 to 2:04:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: that is small airports, into general aviation airports. that turns out to be very convenient. there are a lot of, thousands of general aviation, big jets, little jets, and king airs all over this country. and they fly everywhere. and we want them to.

John Rockefeller

2:04:26 to 2:04:47( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: so, we try to encourage the e.a.s. to -- essential air service to do well by them. we have an incasing funding for contract towers. that's important. you have to have a tower. i had a 9:30 a.m. this morning from not a lot airport.

John Rockefeller

2:04:48 to 2:05:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: there was fog and they couldn't take off. i assume they could probably seat fog themselves. but if they were in doubt, the air traffic controller said you aren't taking off. that's called a service to them. less so to phaoerbgs but to therpblgs and that's what -- less so to me, but to them and that's what counts. just in closing, very important

John Rockefeller

2:05:10 to 2:05:30( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: to west virginia and to other states, our global economy is growing and we're much more interconnected. it becomes very important now, for example, people to be able to feed into -- commuter services don't just take you from charleston, west virginia, to cincinnati. they can also take you, and

John Rockefeller

2:05:31 to 2:05:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: sometimes more importantly for business, they can take you to dulles airport and then you connect into the international air flight service business, so somebody from bluefield, west virginia, or beckley, west virginia, can be flying and go see his customers or potential

John Rockefeller

2:05:54 to 2:06:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: customers, or her, in a little commuter airport, and a little commuter airplane which then turns into a much larger airport and international flow. so i'm proud of this. we -- this is a part of our bill. in the absence of other business, as we wait for

John Rockefeller

2:06:16 to 2:06:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: amendments to be worked out, we'll do three of those this afternoon, and then we'll have, as i say, a tranche of agreed-to amendments, a very tranche large -- a very large tranche. we've been three years awaiting

John Rockefeller

2:06:37 to 2:07:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: on this bill. it's been sort of held over or extended 11 times, and indeed it will be 12 times by the time we pass it, which will be hopefully tomorrow evening. so i want to make these comments. i thank the chair, and i yield the floor, of a quorum. the presiding officer: the

John Rockefeller

2:07:06 to 2:07:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: clerk will call the

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