Campbell Praises Transportation Panel Members for Aviation Success
By Kevin McCarty
Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell praised Members of the Conference’s Transportation and Communications Committee and other Conference leaders for their efforts to secure action on a new multi-year aviation bill.
Campbell, who chairs the panel, told the mayors that "I want to congratulate all of you for a successful effort on ‘AIR-21’, the newly-enacted aviation legislation that will deliver about $40 billion over the next three years into the nation’s airports and national aviation system. I particularly want to recognize our President, Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb, for making this a priority for the Conference during this past year."
He also singled out House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Bud Shuster (PA) and Ranking Member Jim Oberstar (MN) for their leadership on the AIR-21 legislation. "They succeeded in doing for aviation what they did, with our help and support, for highways and transit," Campbell said.
In addition to touting the legislation’s support for increased investment at the nation’s airports, Campbell said, "Our aviation system, with increased commitments to FAA’s programs, will be better equipped to absorb the growing demands on the system."
Following this discussion of AIR-21, which was enacted since the mayors last met at the Winter Meeting, Campbell led the Committee members through a review of pending resolutions. The Committee recommended seven resolutions to the full membership, all of which were subsequently adopted at the June 12th Business Meeting. Among the resolutions considered by the panel, Campbell’s proposed resolution, "Renewing Rail in America," garnered 16 additional cosponsors from the Committee’s membership.
Meridian (MS) Mayor John Robert Smith, who serves as the panel’s Vice Chair on rail matters, briefed mayors on Amtrak’s recent financial and service improvements. Smith noted that Amtrak’s total 2nd quarter revenues grew by 8 percent, as compared to same period last year, and that ridership jumped by 7 percent in April, as compared to April 1999. He also talked about Amtrak’s new Acela service in the Northeast, its Network Growth Strategy announced in February, and its plan to offer an unconditional service guarantee beginning July 4th.