tv Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao Testifies on FAA Reauthorization CSPAN June 11, 2017 4:54am-7:01am EDT
we look forward to continued support of everyone in this room we look forward to working together to implement this as quickly as we can. this is great for america. it's great for consumers. it's great for everyone. so we're very excited to get to work and work on implementation. thank you again for being here. have is a great day. [applause]
>> good morning. i want >> good morning. i want welcome elaine chao back today. we are working hard on a bipartisan basis to produce a bill ropefully during the work period and we appreciate the administration's end in gagement. a range of topics. >> one of the key governance issues we have not focused on this year which has been discussed over the last two years and commonly occurs in other parts of the world whether the united states should separate the provider function from the faa create a nongovernmental not for profit to do the job. outside auditors have ding the government's performance.
>> this week the president used to join the proponents of significant reform. the president has challenged congress. and it is hard to ignore the many independent studies and reviews that document the flaws with the current structure and look forward on the merits as well as ways the administration will seek to address concerns at key stakeholders with the rural perspective. while reform has garnered the attention this week, there are plenty of other important issues that require the situation of the d.o.t. and this committee. the department administers several key programs including essential air service program and is response for conle soar protection oversight for the aviation industry. last month, aviation subcommittee chairman blunt held a hearing on consoom ser issues and i am interested on what step
this is the department has taken to address the matter. we craft our bill. we will continue to focus on start ication reform and the integration of drones in the air spis and airport infrastructure development and aviation safety and rural air service. there is still a lot of work to be done. i look forward to working with the colleagues throughout the process. with that, i reate the thanks to secretary choo for being her and turn to ranking member nelson for the opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in which we dispatched the subject matter last year and exceptionally bipartisan way and almost unanimous way madam secretary, welcome. the current extension of the faa set to expire the end of
september. i am hopeful that we are going to have a bipartisan and long-term reauthorization bill ready to go in the coming weeks and what i would express my preference to you just a few minutes ago, a bill somewhere in the range of five years to give you certainty over time that you have the operation to execute the executive branch of government. i remind our committee, that we passed this one-yearential tension, with a lot of stuff in it. 95 to 3 in the senate. at the time, the chairman and i focused on areas of agreement. this resulted in legislation that addressed the safe integration of drones in the national airspace, significant
reforms to the faa's certification process and broad ranging aviation consumer issues. this was a win for aviation stakeholders as well as the traveling public, which was reflected in that overwhelming vote. now, any further progress on that bill was thwarted in the house by the proposal of privatization of air traffic control. so we now operate just on a one-year bill with a new looming deadline. madam secretary, i understand that you will present the administration's support for the shifting atc services from the faa to an independent entity that will be governed in part by the airlines. my views on this matter, i have
already shared with you are the same as i expressed rather vigorously last year when this subject was up for debate. why? because we have the safest air traffic control system in the world. why would we risk that by happened listening the whole thing over to unproven entity? why give away billions of dollars in governmental assets to in ty that will be governed in large part by the airlines? even some of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, which really is not so much applicable to this committee as it is to the full senate have not rallied behind this proposal because they understand the potential harm to general
aviation as well as to small and roral communities. and a fundamental breakup of the faa cannot advance when there is such strong division among aviation stakeholders and in congress. so this entire discussion over atc privatization distracts from the legitimate matters that must be addressed by the congress on the part of faa. the secret that the traveling public is frustrated and i want to grant what the chairman has said about this matter. there are certainly ways we can be more efficient. we are right at the point of
handing over a lot of this communication buy a radar to the gps satellite system. that is, as i understand it, it is going to occur in about three years, where as the remaining implementation over of the entire next generation is going to be over a dozen years. that can certainly be made more efficient and effective and indeed it will save time and fuel and money for the traveling public as well as the airlines. if you can go from.a to c instead of having to go because of a radio beckon from a to b-to-c and you can cut off the dog lag with a beeline straight to your destination, then it
saves a lot of time, fuel and money. and that is the point of next gen, plus having situational awareness in the cockpit, so that you know at all times. and communication system in the cockpit that you know what other traffic is around you. at the same time, the traveling public is frustrated. look at what we are seeing everyday. they are frustrated. they cannot check the bags or board flights with increasingly shrinking sizes of and/or overbooked seats without paying fees. so on one of the airlines is ordering a whole new set of boeing 73 70's and instead of
31 inches between the seats and tourists, in fact, they are going to get it down to 29 inches because they are going to put in this new boeing 737, and additional 12 seats in the same amount of cabin space. passengers are expressing their frustration. they are frustrated that airlines won't design their websites that clearly communicate their fees and policy. they are frustrated that failing airline i.t. systems result in canceled and delayed flights for days on end and i see a lot of our members with very intricated, interested expressions on their faces because it happened to us as well.
so this is why this year's faa reauthorization legislation must once again include strong consumer protections to address these growing frustrations. after all, if the airlines cannot even manage their own i.t. systems, you can imagine, if you took and put all of that over into air traffic control, and that doesn't give us a very good result. so, so let's deal with the real problems look the way passengers are treated as valuable customers which the airlines obviously want to do. let's just don't go around trying to find a solution in search of a problem that is not a problem. so willing's keep the focusing on a bipartisan long-term and i
would say five-year comprehensive faa reauthorization bill and try to do it to show that actually in this congress we can get something done and something passed and passed in a bipartisan way, and so as usual madam secretary, all of us look forward to working with you, are an excellent public servant. you have given yourself to public service over the years and we appreciate that very much. thank you. >> thank you, senator. >> he gave you a lot to chew on there. we look forward to hearing from you. if you would proceed with the remarks then open it up to the panel for questions. so thank you for being here. welcome. >> thank you very much. >> chairman, ranking member nelson, members of the committee. thank for inviting me to testify before this committee on the future the federal aviation administration and the fa reauthorization ledge slags.
now know, near lay century has passed since the federal government began regulating the nation's air space. we have come a long way since the transcontinental airway system, from the 1920's. pilots flying at might with light towers and huge concrete arrows painted yellow, in the decades sense, a progression of congressional and presidential initiatives has resulted in the air transportation system we know today. and altered the regulatory framework along the way sometimes quite dra matley. to keep up with evoking technology. new reg lag torienties were created and old ones were restructured. to make more efficient and effective use of our nation's airspace and to improve aviation safety. we can all take pride in the premachine douse gains that have been achieved, but as you all know. the pace of technological change
has increased dramatically over the past several decades at the same time. the traditional model of government procurement and budgeting is making it more and more difficult to keep up. air traffic control ises a perfect example. despite billions of dollars of taxpayer investments over several decades to implementation of state-of-the-art air traffic control technology is not where it needs to be. so this administration has taken a bold step and joined many of our counterparts worldwide bicep operating air traffic control operations from the safety oversight functions of the faa. this administration's proposal would create separate nongovernmental, nonprofit cooperative to operate our country's air traffic control system. the new in ty would be a
fully-capitalized, financially self-sustaining, entity funded bayousers of the services. all surpluses for our revenues would be reinvested back into the system because just because it is nonprofit doesn't mean it doesn't accumulate surpluses. mindful that the key to any organization's success is the employees, the administration's proposal poses that the new in ty honor existing labor agreements and that employeesrance fer from the faa to be kept whole in terms of pay and benefits, although, they would no longer be federal employees. these reforms will accelerate the deploy of new air traffic control technology that is so critical to managing the national airspace with more precision, thereby enhancing
safety, passengers will benefit because these reforms will speed up the delivery of new technology that will delay, that will reduce, delays and congestion. air traffic controllers will benefit because the reforms will ensure they have the most up-to-date tools and technology. i want to single out, thank the dedicated professionals, who are, indeed, the best in the world. they are true heros, keeping the flying public safe every day. and taxpayers will benefit because the system will be fully financed with user fees. and let me mention again, that 100% of the surplus will be able to be reinvested back into the system. we also believe the positioned new in ty is necessary to acome adult the expected dramatic increase in passenger traffic over the next decade.
and to integrate new entrant has to the airspace such as unmanned aircraft systems and commerce space operations. my written testimony contains more detailed information on the proposal and of course legislative language to be submitted will contain many more details. it is worth noting that over the past 20 years, more than 60 countries have successfully managed similar atc, air traffic control reform efforts. each country is different, we recognize that. we also recognize that the u.s. national airspace is the biggest and most complex in the world. nevertheless, there are lessons to be gleamed from the experience of other countries and we need to embrace transformational reform. innovation, and the ability to change with changing times is
one of the hall marks of our country and part of our aviation history. the proposed reforms will ensure that remains the world's ladder in aviation going forward into the future and this is an industry that we pioneered, so thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i will be happy to take any questions that you may have. >> thank you, madam secretary. as i mentioned in the owing statement. there have been many concerns raised regarding the recent proposals for atc reform and the impact on small community air service. i was glad to see that the principles announce by the president this week underscore the need to maintain access and services for rural communities and my question is how does the vision, this proposal for a new atc entity ensuring that there are such safeguards in place for
rural america. >> the administration's proposal will enhance safety and improve access and also increase efficiency. all of these features will help make the system better, as we have already heard, the congestions and delays that we are seeing in our airspace can be alleviated by different government structure, so tardiness with which we're implementing technological advances can be addressed through taking this air traffic control and entity out of bureaucratic government procurement rules and we have the best and the safest system in the world. we want to maintain that. to enable the system, in the
future to maintain the supremacy. weed that he to have much needed technol low cag call advances. we need to have -- technological advances. we need to have a different way for the air traffic control system to be able to space airplane, for example, and on the rural front, i am very concerned about access for rural america. currently, the rural areas are most hurt buy the status quo. in terms of low traffic towers, air traffic control tower, many of which are the first to be cut in any budget cutbackses so rural america, if prit accesses to rural america, would actually be enhanced the air traffic control system would be taken out of the bureaucratic government and procurement processes. >> well, yeah, i guess the only thing i would add is you would understand and look at the
composition and represent rural states that are with a lot of geography. not a lot of people in smaller airports and communities where gen rave i have a is is important. i, look you shall i think, share a concern that rural areas be treated fairly and there would be safeguards put in police and i guess pacifically my question was as to what safeguards in the administration's proposal, in what ways would they go about in shoring the rural areas would have access and that access to the nation's air system would be affordable. and, so if it, if you have, hean, you know, at this point, you know, since there is no legislation specifically to look at, and sort of gain that out. that is something, obviously, a lot of this committee would be interested in knowing about. there were editorials in yesterday's washington post, several other pap ares that echoed the president's call to spin out the atc function are the faa anothe basic consince
has been around for listening to emand enjoyed support by democrat and republicans at various times. what would you say, for instance, to those who argue that next gen is working out fine, that reforming the atc's system will actually slowdown the modernization process? >> well, we respectfully disagree. men and women who work on next gen are doing their very, very best. we do not want to criticize them. the next gen effort has been going on for quite awhile and it has expended billions of dollars. we're still facing many, many delay, procurement issues that existed decades ago. i was the deputy secretary in 1989 and coming back, into the department in 2017, i am hearing the same arguments, the same
descriptions of the problem as i did then. the row scurment issues are real. we need to make sure that the hard-working men and women who man our air traffic control system have the latest technology. rooting now the air traffic control system is operating from vacuum tubes and paper strips at an age where we have digital technology available, so we need to, again, equip our, um, tremendous air traffic controllers for the best tools they have going to the future. >> senator nelson? >> thank you. >> haddam secretary madam secretary. we will have a a disagreement on this.
and, and respect you, as you go about your duties, i would point out that one o one of the reasor the delays on the next gen implementation is lack of money. and lack of money also gets in the way, for example, a lot of rural airports are covered by contract towers, they are not faa. and we went through that drill a couple of years ago, and had to, had to really get with it because some of those contract towers were being cut out simply as savings. a lot of the rural airports that don't have them now would lake to have contract towers, but again, a function of money. i don't think that when you
compare that to the organization of the implementation that that is the reason why you suddenly turn all of the government assets over to a private in ty. that is my opinion and we will certainly in the crucial of debate and amendments proceed and see where it comes. i want to, i want to give most of my time to the other members because, it is prettile known where i am, but before i turn it over, i just want to give you another topic for your consideration. takata airbags have been linked to 180 injuries in 11 deaths. several of those have occurred
in my state. last week, we released data from an independent monitor that showed that after two years of the nationwide recall, two-thirds of the cars out there still have not been repaired. and it appears that since you were sworn in, madam secretary, the national highway traffic safety administration has not taken any further action to speed up the process. last friday, chairman thune and i sent you a letter to get the process moving again, so i wish you would be refreshed on the contents of that letter and see if you could crack the whip to get them going.
any additional detail or steps that you might want to share with us at this point. >> senator nelson, thank you very much for the letter that you and the chairman have sent. we are in the receipt of the letter. just came in. we understand this is a concern to us. this is also a concern to us. we hope, we are working diligently on this issue, but obviously, it is not enough. so thank you for reminding us and, indeed, i will go back, we will redouble our efforts. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator nelson. senator wicker? >> well, it is wonderful to see you again, madam secretary. let me just say with regard to the air traffic control proposal, that this is a tough
sell in states like my state of mississippi. where the small airports are very concerned and i think, i think you are going to see this on both sides of the aisle. so the sell needs to be made. what assurances can you give us about the fear of higher airfares? higher fees resulting from this proposal, particularly in light of the fact, that the privatizing can did and the united kingdom fund after the first six years in canada, there was 50% increase and in the united kingdom, a 30% increase. i think canada actually haded a
30% decrease. >> in the united kingdom, fees rose 30%, according to a study that i have seen. but you your testimony is in fact it the fees decreased? >> for den rigs aviation which i know is a group that's very concerned. >> ok. let me just say that is something we need to nail down. that is something we need to nail down.
>> i come from a state that his role and i know many of the members of this committee comes from rural areas and rural states. i take my advisement very seriously this concern about how to address role issues. the ironic thing is the co contt hours are much better if the government system were separate. for example. >> how do we know that? >> contract towers are the first to go in any budgetary cutbacks. when we had sequestration, when their crs, when there is on certain budgetary commands as senator nelson mentioned the
contact towers are always the first to go. they are so important to rule america. the air traffic control system would be separated they would be able to have much deadlier budget streams and budget scenarios threat to the contract towers actually drop. that would be very good for rule america. >> we will be visiting about this over time. let me shift in a minute and a half. we had testimony from the air force yesterday about the global shortage of pilots. certainly that affects the civilian sector here in the united states and with all of our allies. can you comment or do you have specific recommendations about
what your department might do in working with all concerned entities to address the pilot shortage? >> the 1500 hour rule was put in by congress and it set a much higher standard for the number of hours that a potential pilot has to obtain before they can enter into service. that is really inactive congre congress. there is very little the administration or the executive branch can do about that. >> let me say there is a larger problem and i would direct your attention to the problem that the general mentioned yesterday. the chief of staff of the air force. there is justice shortage across
the board in the military, air force, navy, in the united kingdom, in the air forces and also among the commercial pilots. there is an overall shortage which we and our friends are going to have to deal with. i would simply ask you to go back to the department and see on the civilian side and the military side come up with a solution there. >> if i'm as the former secretary of labor what were talking about is the skills gap. there is a larger issue about the skills gap in our economy. i share your concerns about the pilots in the shortage and where we're going to get them in the future and i would love to work with you on that. >> thank you.
>> thank you senator for being here. thank you for answering questions about contract towers. it is a very hot topic with our colleagues because there are 250 contract towers and 46 states. almost every part of the country is interested in this. given the question about the value, i would assume then that you would be willing to say that you will protect his contract towers no matter what? >> i cannot promise you that now. under the current budgetary process it is an issue of what is available dollars. is that what you're asking? >> yes. >> that's why the proposal of separating out air traffic control from the regulatory safety part is to direct some of the budgetary issues as well so this new entity would be self-sustaining and self enhancing. it would not be victim to the
vagaries of year-to-year preparations. that is good for contract towers. >> are you saying they will not get protected unless we do that? >> you're asking about under the current budgetary process? >> yes. >> i'm not saying i won't protect them, i cannot guarantee that. it depends on the budget you give to me and what you ultimately decide. >> okay. anyway i hope you would protect them no matter what. so, on the next gen system, do you know if the presidents infrastructure plan support in investment? i hear what you're saying about the air traffic control system but just on next gen, as we get all the players at the table and they debate amongst themselves,
i wish we could make the stay there until we had a resolution of funding issues. that is what is tempering the implementation of gen. does the presidents of the structure plan include making investments in gen? >> the presidents infrastructure proposal has come as a major part of it the separation of the air traffic control system from the regulatory safety aspect which remains with faa. in fact, the modernization of faa is the cornerstone of the infrastructure project. again there is an aviation trust fund which we cannot use even though it has huge surpluses in there. because it has not been appropriated. there is also an issue about financing in the budgetary process from year to year and how uncertain it is which impedes the ability to plan
further ahead. so, this issue about funding certainty is tied in with what the separation would be good to maintain a more robust air traffic control system. >> i'm here to work with all of you. i know this is a controversial issue. >> i think i'm with senator nelson and the respect that nexgen is paying dividends. if we get to the point where we do not get there on this discussion, we hope we'll keep making process on progress on the implementation. i have another question relating to cargo freight issues. we recently sent a letter about the national freight and highway grants program. are you expecting to make a second round of freight grants this year?
>> other grants have been under review because of the new administration. we hope to review quickly and get the grants out quickly. >> so you think that would happen this year? >> i hope so. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman and welcome met him secretary, nice to see you. i think you just mentioned about the need to have a longer planning time and a longer reauthorization time when it comes to all infrastructure, not just with regards to air service in airports, but with all of the structure. i hear from sta stakeholders acs nebraska that it takes long time to get the permitting done. first of, do you agree with that
and if you do, what are you going to do to help us get to that longer planning. when it comes to infrastructure? >> it will certainly help if it is a longer time that the committee can come to consensus on. if indeed the faa reauthorization's for longer time that would alleviate some of the pressure. >> as we look at air services, specifically in the access that is there, i know that you have mentioned the needs in rural america and it is critical that we have that access to our communities, families and businesses so that they can take advantages of opportunities that come with having their services. i am concerned about the elimination of congressional appropriations for central air service in the presidents budget request. can you tell us what the administration plans to do, what
their intentions are concerning rural communities? how are you going to ensure these rural areas in america still have access to your services? we have seven rural communities in nebraska. as you know, we are a state and really populated. if we are going to grow and thrive central air services a big part of that. what are the intentions of your department in regards to that? >> it's unfortunate that the program was restructured the way it is. i am working within the administration to see how we can address the. i am hopeful we will have a partial solution to this very shortly. >> i would be happy to work with you on that as well. i know many members of this
committee where the settler service plays a big part in keeping areas in our states connected and continuing to grow and have opportunities for economic growth. i hope you feel free to reach out to me and other members of this committee to try and work through the problems that i see with a request that has come down from this administration. i am pleased to hear that the president has talked about the importance of regulatory reform is a way that we can address infrastructure investment in freight movement across this country. sometimes when we looked at these programs are very prescriptive. i try to look for ways that we can look at performance-based standard so we can involve stakeholders and develop more innovative methods for achieving
a regulatory goal that is put out there. do you agree that performance-based standards could facilitate innovative compliance and safety, technologies, and if so has the department of transportation looked at how it could move away from more of these prescriptive regulations to a more performance-based series? >> we are in total agreement and that we have to move in that direction, yes. >> to have any examples of specific ways you're looking at addressing those right now? that you can share with us. >> there is an executive order from the white house dated february 28. it was an effort to look at all of the regulation and from the status quo point of view that has been just issued. everything was frozen for 60 days and we're looking at that. that is part of the
infrastructure proposal. we are looking also at the permitting side and we are going to announce some of that or maybe that's too ambitious of a work, there'll be a day devoted to how we can work with some of the permitting issues. for example and i don't want to go on for too long, some of these permitting issues we all respect the environment want to protect the environment. some of these permitting issues occur sequentially. it does not make sense to have some of these permitting procedures occur concurrently. it's a very simple issues like that can make a big difference. we are in fact having a gathering of mayors and governors at the department of transportation on friday on this issue. we hope to further consultation,
dialogue, discussion about it as well. >> thank you. i would just add my concern about the contract towers and looking for a way we can continue that, thank you. >> thank you senator fisher. >> thank you mr. chairman. welcome back madame secretary. at the outset i want to thank my colleague, senator moran for working with me during a previous session on the contract tower issue during the continuing resolution. we stated then and i will restate now my commitment to working across the aisle on this important issue with my colleagues. seemingly minor issue like this has vast ramifications for country, as you will know. i've been discouraged as many of my colleagues have been by the leg and responses to similar inquiries. there is a report in political
recently that officials from the white house were telling agency officials to ignore oversight requests from democratic members of this congress. to know of any such contact center have had you had such conversations with white house officials? >> first welcome i think you all know based on my reputation, i have always worked very hard to ensure that whatever department i am waiting that it would be working very well with both sides of the aisle with issues. we pride ourselves in being very responsive. i have a history of working collaboratively with members of congress. >> i hesitate to interrupt about my time is limited. i wrote to two months ago, just days after the now infamous issue regarding united airlines demanding an investigation into
the issue that was raised there. the dot said publicly it was reviewing that issue. i asked for answers about the airline employees knowledge of passenger rights. in fact, i helped to lead the effort to improve those rights through new passenger bill of rights which i hope you would support. in the meantime, i received no response to my inquiry. what is the status of that investigation. >> i'm sorry you did not receive a response. i'm not aware that. i will take a look. having said i said, it is not unusual for administration, every administration including the previous one that any oversight responses be coordinated through the chairman and the ranking of each committee. that is separate from ordinary
correspondence. oversight is a bit different in that has been the policy thrall administrations. >> i'm very skeptical with all due respect, about the plan that has been advanced that would provide for so-called reform in the system that has seen no fatality in a commercial plane since 2009. i am puzzled that the administration wants to break apart the faa up with the critical safety oversight will, air traffic control into the hands of an unknown, untested entity that in effect will be controlled by the airlines, particularly since nearly 40000 people are expected to die on our roads every year and the administration has yet to propose a specific set of
measures to build new roads, rails, bridges and other infrastructure in the campaign. president trump promise to replace our obsolete rails and tunnels with the infrastructure with what our country deserves. i'm wondering why the priority on breaking apart the faa when we have yet to see any specifics in a cut in investments on infrastructure in the 2017 budget. could you explain what the impacts will be of the cuts that are contemplated for example in the tiger program and other programs within the jurisdiction of your department. >> the separation of faa, air
trip traffic control from the safety aspect is a cornerstone of the infrastructure project. the current budget of 2018 does not reflect the priorities of the new infrastructure proposal. so the projects that were cut in the 2018 budget will be realigned to newer priorities in the infrastructure proposal. >> are you saying that tiger will be fully funded and amtrak will be fully funded and increased? >> it will be a different kind of funding as was announced. the infrastructure proposal will be $1 trillion over ten years. it will have direct federal funding which is higher than the past highway bill of december 2015.
it will be leveraged through a public-private partnership and sale or possible sale of government access. >> when will we see the specific? hopefully soon. probably third quarter. >> my time has expired. >> senator murray thank you for your presence today. i appreciate senator blumenthal recollecting the efforts to make certain the contract tower was funded. that occurred in 2013. i would remain skeptical of you indicating the rule america and in particular contract program to be more secure with privatization of air traffic control and 13 people.
as i recall to restore the funding that contract tower program there were 26 democrats 25 republicans who joined together on the senate floor. the majority of the seven to make sure that contract towers were supported. i put the risk of the survival of contract towers in the hands of congress more easily than i would put in the hands of a board of 13 people making decisions nationwide. one of the problems with privatization is removing congress with a role to play and by rural what i mean by that is almost anyplace except the largest cities in our country is rural. i put my eggs in the basket to
be supportive of rural programs more readily than my eggs in the basket of a 13 member private board. i want to comment on your statement regarding senator fisher's question. longer reauthorization is a good thing. i share that view. i was disappointed that we were unable to ultimately get a long-term faa reauthorization bill passed through the congress last time. the reason we are unable to do that is the topic that is in front of us again. privatization of the faa. madam secretary, if it becomes clear that the votes are not present in this committee or the united states senate, will you help us pass and faa long-term reauthorization without the privatization provisions? >> i wish i could answer that question but as you know i cannot. >> perhaps i'm only making a
point and perhaps it was a rhetorical question but the issue that now faces us so that face us the last time. with the administration support of this concept the chance of getting a long-term faa reauthorization in my view has not been diminished. sometimes the decision needs to be made by you and others is our priority a long-term faa reauthorization or privatization of air traffic control. those things might be mutually exclusive. i thank you for responding to the february letter that we wrote you asking about your assurances that your comments your confirmation hearing about reaching a national consensus on this topic. we received your response last night and i thank you for
answering that letter. i know the effort was made to seek input from a variety of interested parties when it comes to this topic. on a different topic, let me ask about spectrum allocations. one of the significant accomplishments that senator udall and i worked on was to expand the allocation fund to include a $500 million pool for research and development. please to see that the faa announced it is taking advantage of that pool to investigate whether can relinquish some of the 1300 megahertz band. that's encouraging. it will free up more spectrum if you reach that to employ next-generation networks, 5g. can you bring me up to speed with your thoughts. >> investigation is extraordinarily complex. i don't have a good answer for you today, but i will get one for you. >> very good. thank you.
>> i now have an order of appearance senator in half. >> let me first say that there are other issues than the privatization issue that's out there. i had several questions that should be asked want to make one comment about contract towers. i agree with the, that senator moran may major requests if this becomes a discussion i like to be a part of that. and we would be in have a serious problem without, does a sound reasonable to? >> yes on the issue of the
privatization, i think almost every question i get asked you have answered. is there short answer to a specific reason why nexgen would be better served under the system you're proposing. is there short answer to that? haven't heard one that makes sense to me. >> we can procure new equipment faster. >> that the short answer. okay. >> because the government procurement rules are very bureaucratic. by the time the government gets equipment many times it is not state-of-the-art modern technology because of the lengthy procurement process. >> on monday, and i did not attend but i did read what the
president was saying about the proposal, the one thing not mentioned was having to do with user fees. one thing about the house bill, it specifically excluded user fees in certain areas and then it gets more confusing but it goes out from the because of the organizations that are out there. was not directly excluded in the presentation that you had on monday. your assessment is correct. we look forward to working with the committee in congress. this is a point that needs to be discussed. we are willing to do so. >> the next thing to bring up as we talk to your staff about a proposal that i have that reread for to us the flight acts. what it does is give assurance to general aviation airports. those that receive 150,000 a
year to do things including extending that amount from six to seven years. then also assuring that if there is a surplus in those accounts that they be reserved for general aviation airports as opposed to others. that's one provision. another provision, i shared chaired the public works provision only had the fast act. some things we successfully did in concert with the ranking member was to have some of the environmental streamlines put into effect that i think we could do and emulate. we have also well i don't have time to get into detail with
this but have you been able to review the flight act with your staff? >> we have. i'm interested specifically in what you have in mind. we can have an off-line discussion. >> that would be good. senator booker and i have worked together on some of the joan legislation as we have in the past. we have been successful. we've got language in there that would allow drones and the environment to take care of problems that are like pipelines and other areas that have been successful. while the faa has established the process to address such applications, and application for such non- line of sight application, the faa has approved a few of them. i'm concerned about this. is there anything you can think of that is causing the faa to be
every turned senator. thank you for being here. it seems every week there has been a new episode of passengers on airplanes being treated unfairly and it's created a new pair of debacles. but every instance is an example of airlines violating the trust of their customers have put in with their dollars. i would like to get your perspective of what you think the department of transportation can do and what we ought to consider doing the reauthorization. i know this is a delicate space because it is a private enterprise, and we don't want to be too prescriptive but from my
standpoint it is difficult to understand this contractor is a meaning of the minds when somebody clicks agree on expedia and airline so i would like your perspective on what should be done especially with your department. >> in light of what has happened in the recent months we obviously have kept close track with the incident and created a whole new section of the websi website. we have tried to help the public know what their rights are and that is on our website.
i am not sure what the protocol is, that i am going to ask to make this point. it did streamline the government procurement that it hadn't done all of that. the procurement of the equipment is still a problem. we are still dealing with the tubes and paper strips. talk about the drones and drawn registration when testified march 15 of this year he shared with more than 750,000 owners have registered their drones. congress is happy about this in a short amount of time, and we
are looking forward to getting to 100%. the u.s. court of appeals and the dc circuit ruled the recreational use was illegal, so my basic question is what are we going to do next? >> the decision just came out a few days ago, so we are in the process of reviewing and evaluating when the next step will be. and we look forward if you have specific viewpoints. >> whether or not we need to make any statutory changes to clarify from a recreational perspective there are great opportunities, but there are new issues here and it's important
to make the policy and did not evolve all of the authority to the executive branch. and since the authorization bill is a live vehicle it is in opportunity for the bipartisan basis. i know senator fisher mentioned the air or surface and i can speak for everybody on the committee when i say the proposed reduction from 175,000,708,000,000 in the fy 18 budget is alarming. and i would just like to get your reassurance that you understand how important this is to the committee and that we are going to work to make sure that essential air service is a part of the basic promise that the department of transportation makes to all of the constituents.
the budget was put together in the beginning part of the administration when the team members were absent. >> thank you. next up is senator mark. >> we have a situation, madame secretary where the airlines are over charging passengers just because they need to change or cancel their flights or check a couple of bags and if it' it ist not fair to the passengers across the country. but today several airlines actually charged $200 to change or cancel. and that might actually be greater than the value of the ticket which the person actually purchased. on top of that, many are charging as much as $25 for the first bag, 35 for the second setback of the $120 for a round trip for the bag from one
destination to another. and that the fee epidemic is just a growing of carry-on bags, print boarding passes, blankets and the reason they can do it is they are not operating in competitive situations. for airlines control 80% of the traffic in the skies and in an office from the airports are dominated by one carrier controlling over 50% of the capacity. and the result is 3.2 billion baggage fees and changing cancellation fees just last ye year. passengers are just demanding some relief. they are put in situations they
could be tipped upside down. so what can the department of transportation do in order to get relief peace passengers? >> we have posted on the website but these are frustrating issues. i look forward to working with you if you have additional ideas about that. >> that's what i'm afraid of, you can just bring get people to notice that they don't have any rights and i think as we do this reauthorization, senator blumenthal and i are intending on assuring that we make an amendment that gives passengers rights and protections for the fair fees act that we will make it an amendment to make sure they are fair and reasonable and proportionate to the cost of the service provided.
we need to debate back because -- >> t. do tr to try to help passs and he put the passenger bill of rights on but these are issues that do emerge and we really can't do very much about pricing as we go forward. >> that's the point you're making is whawe aremaking is whd proportionate. the whole world is operating on it right now but delta airlines and experienced issues that resulted in the thousands of cancellations across the country last summer and earlier this year delta and united airlines had outages within a week of one another causing disruptions. the systems still haven't been brought into the 21st century
and we also find that they have not fulfilled their obligations to take care of the passengers when there are cancellations, they do not have agreements in place which allow the airlines to reboot the passengers onto another airline with no additional cost to consumers. it's going to be critical to deal with this issue so that the airlines understand we believe it is critical to upgrade the it services and in many instances they don't notify the passengers that they have a right to compensation because they delay. there is a number in response.
they need to be upgraded dramatically to deal with all these issues and then i look at a proposal to give the airlines on the nonprofit board and the preponderance of the board to move us back. if they can't in other words upgraded their own systems, they can't figure out how to do it for their own passengers, we will give them the key seats on this board given the record of safety if the existing system would be sequentially wrong with. first they should approve that
they would do all of these things before we take the responsibility for taking on all of these larger now governmentally controlled responsibilities. we thank you for your service is madame secretary. we will have a big debate on this authorization. >> thank you mr. chair and welcome, it is good to see you. as you know, earlier this year there was an unfortunate incident in which united airlines removed a passenger from one of the aircraft bringing attention to the lack of consumer protections that exist in the airline industry. the incident does not represent a one-time situation of mistreatment of passengers and in fact there've been several incidents in the brief period lifetime between the incident and today's hearing. just last year the dot received 17,904 complaints across the
industry and those were just the cases that were reported. i am sure that you join my colleagues and me in finding these unacceptable and that is why i've introduced with several of my colleagues. this will improve transparency, review overbooking policies, guarantee paying customers have a right to fly and make other commonsense reform. the department of transportation share my concern for people across the country that one needs to be done to ensure better lighting conditions for consumers and specifically how does the team plan to address this? >> of course we are concerned and what has happened is inexcusable. as mentioned, we have alerted all of the airlines of the responsibilities are and we've posted a passengers bill of
rights so they can access the website. and as we go forward we want to make sure also that the airlines understand what their responsibilities are and it is to their own best interest to treat passengers with respect and courtesy. i think that effort is ongoing and the airlines need to take any responsibility themselves. >> thank you. will you and your staff work with us to look at the elements of the bill to incorporate them into their reauthorization. the house of representatives put forth a proposal for the system and changed the way that airspace is governed. senators on both sides raised questions about whether this
plan might work as we assess changes we have to be mindful of the disparate impact on the communities like my state of new hampshire. march of this year over 115 mayors wrote to the leadership of the committee expressing concern specifically noting they are concerned about commercial airlines would be governing themselves. what is the president's plan if any to safeguard the communities showed major changes take place to the traffic control system? >> i want to make it very clear crystal ball because i think there's a lot of concern about
this that the air traffic control system is a word to be taken away from the faa said that the inherent conflict of interest that exists with the air traffic control operating system that is regulating itself on safety that is an intrinsic conflict of interest and we need to separate the safety function from the operational function. number two, this new air traffic control system will not be controlled by airplanes but they said number one there will be a new government structure and a new financing structure. the structure will comprise of 13 members and only to see are available by airlines of the rest will be by airports, labor groups, the labor representatives. it will be the whole stakeholder
group but that responsibility isn't to look after their parochial interests but the interest of the whole air traffic control system. we are very much aware of and as we go forward we've released thiwe believe thisproposal and o working with the members of the committee and senate of the congress on this issue. >> it will be very helpful if we can include mayors and governors. >> we are meeting with them this friday. >> mr. chairman, thank you for being here to take time from your schedule to answer some questions. can i change directions for just a minute.
it's important to the state of nevada because it is one of the recognized unmanned aircraft systems test sites you are probably familiar with. i think our state i has a perfet place for testing because the state's expertise and the space corridors. we have 300 days of sun and there is a low startup cost. i worked with my colleagues during the last congress from other sites and extended to support from 2019. it's my opinion that the previous administration didn't utilize the test sites to the best of their ability so i guess my question for you is asking
for support in extending the authorization and peace sites beyond 2019. >> that is a question i did not anticipate so i will go back and take a look at that issue. >> thank you for that. the ability to conduct a bigot to be able to see the drone and it is prohibitive to test these things if you are limited in the site and impact somsize and impe commercial companies that are being tested right now are saying if they cannot go beyond that they will have to do their testing overseas, so that is the concern.
>> i am cognizant of the issue. we are looking at those issues and we will work with you on that. we hope to come up with something that is very commonsensical. >> there is a lot of drones. you could walk in to costco tomorrow and start playing one. my son saw one of the latest and greatest to see how these work and now he's learning the restrictions of a few can and wd cannot do in his mechanisms when it comes to commercial use being able to work with your office on this particular issue does mean
a lot to our state. there is a difference between the commercial. there's a group of millenniums that have the same interest and need to be aware and educated in the practicality. i do know they are restricted about the ports for every airport in america how close you get to it it .-full-stop and over and continue to move forward. the technology is already there for the necessary protection
that is a little more sensitive than others. >> mr. chairman, thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman and madam secretary. it's always good to see you and appreciate all you are doing here. i want to start before i ask a few specific questions and add my comments to what i think is incredibly important for my state and important for others. we have more essential air service airports in the country. and i know you've responded to several questions but it goes back to the privatization of air traffic control and your opening
comments talk about the privatization that would actually help the airport if i get your testimony right thing will be able to preserve the contract covers and some of the airports and there won't be movement away from the airports or the larger regional airports. but it just seems inconsistent. we're moving to the privatized system and it's basically run by the airlines who are profit-making entities. the reason they don't serve is because they don't make money. the economics don't work although they are essential for the other public purpose reasons. how do you square that away if
the administration wants to cut the air service and says that actually privatizing the air traffic system will help grow the airports by putting the major airlines that don't make money in the airports. help me through that. >> i would say these are two separate issues but having said that, but we assure you that the interests and concerns i share. the essential service was part of the budget of the fiscal year 2018. i can defend it, but i would say the decision is made when the administration was just starting up, number one. on the issue about rural america, we are concerned about rural america and some of the issues, for example, contract powers is actually an issue of budgeting incident he taken out
of the federal government and the certainty. the air traffic control system, the structure that we are suggesting to the administration's proposal is not one that is controlled by airlines. as a director of 13 people and only two seats in the 13 are to be airlines. this is not controlled by the airlines. we will wait to see what the actual legislation state's to have a full discussion about this. i appreciate that madam secretary. the other attacks in fort lauderdale and brussels we need to do more to protect.
i have been working on would provide airports greater flexibility to use passenger facility charges to improve the security infrastructure. for the airports in my state if money were no object and beget greater flexibility they would already be investing in various public safety initiatives such as ballistic permanent force protection barriers along with curbside drop-off to protect from vehicle borne attacks like the ones we tragically soul in london recently. we should look at allowing the
funding to be used for the air site perimeter systems. does that make sense to you that we look to provide greater flexibility to do that infrastructure necessary to protect the passengers going through them? >> so much of this is what the passenger facilitwith thepassenp to the congress. >> thank you. thank you mr. chairman for your time and testimony today i appreciate last congress they called it the screen fast act. obviously in the different
departments to continue working together to implement the opportunities it has to do with new emerging technologies and how we make sure that they are secure and how the airports are secure because there is a great opportunity for the options under the act. in october, 2015, the northern colorado airport working with the department of transportation put forth into selected as a site for the remote towers pilot program. the goal is the airspace around the innovative 21st century technology depending on the power would be to include language that allow the airports improvement program funds if it is certified by the faa and so
if he would support them being eligible for the funds to. thank you for that. the other question of force with the rocky mount in airports over the past few years regulatory challenges have been related to making it difficult to operate in jefferson county, colorado, they've been attempting the parkway near the rocky mountain airport and the parkway is the final piece of the denver beltway that would go around the metropolitan area obviously a critical transportation needs. they have significant challenges in this would help to alleviate that. the faa first requested by jefferson county for th the right-of-way near the airport in 2014. it's my understanding requiring them to undertake a multimillion dollar environmental review of the parkway outside of the
airport property even though the alignment has already been the subject of a $15 million environmental study. so there is a study that's been done requiring another one. i joined my colleague from colorado in a letter urging expeditious consideration. given the goals of the expedited approval would you commit to review the airport situation reporting back to my office? >> please do. >> international airport has been pursuing initiatives to help infrastructure project or its non- aeronautical land use for additional revenue for the reinvestment. unfortunately they have run into red tape that increases the cost and prolongs the timeline for the instruction completion. do you think there's opportunities to reform these
regulations in this type of reinvestment and if so, can you help describes a steps the department is taking to eliminate the red tape? >> we are working on addressing the infrastructure proposal because we have talked to many people in the sector and many are interested in helping to finance the infrastructure. but they are actually discriminated against and not able to participate in the infrastructure needs. that is another issue you did not specifically ask about that in the permitting we are asking about that. one example of how we can perhaps he used the permitting process without compromising any environmental concerns is that some procedures occur, something as simple as that can shorten
the permitting process. >> thank you very much. i don't know if the senator brought this up but over the last several decades we have watched the industries make incredible strides in the development of new airplanes and airplane technology, safer, more fuel efficient, reliable, and obviously a leader in the manufacturing we must maintain that leadership. one area that has remained relatively stagnant is the development and speed of the commercial aircraft and in colorado we made rapid advancements and i think there's incredible opportunities to pursue the supersonic aviation technology to allow the air travel differently that the person in the past and it is much more reasonable and a responsiblin aresponsible manne. do you have a position on the aviation technology? >> there are noise limits,
number one. we are working on this issue to defend the noise level can be reduced and that would meet current regulations. that is something we hope will happen. >> thank you mr. chairman and madam secretary. let me begin by commending the administration put for proposing something new. so often the government falls into this space where we don't propose creative new ideas even those that have been tested and proven to work in other areas and i know we have to incorporate the valid concerns. it may enhance the safety and lead to independence between the safety side.
hopefully we can improve the proposal and make it something acceptable. there's life-saving medical devices many of which are produced in the state of indiana if you utilize the use i would urge the department considered the implementation of any restrictions that would impede. the department review moves forward i look forward to working with you however possible to ensure there are limited exceptions to the.
>> there is a problem of spontaneously igniting and they don't need oxygen to keep on burning and it's difficult to put it out which is why there is such concerned. one of the current issues is whether it should be put in the cabin where if something did occur, then they would be able to see i that something is burng and do something about it versus putting it into the cargo hold where it was originally thought of to be safer but there is no surveillance of actually making it more dangerous.
but let me assure you this is a difficult issue from the security point of view you bring up a new point which i have not heard so muc with me have my stf and your staff work on this. some of them are more stable than others and these devices which are often implanted inside human beings to save their lives are incredibly stable, incredibly hard and low failure rates, so it is my conviction they ought to be treated from the lithium ion batteries. we look forward to continuing the dialogue and incorporate
some policy changes in the reauthorization on this matter. if i could briefly turned to reiterate the importance of the dot program that is outside of the purview of the faa, it is the capital investment program. back home in indiana, we have several communities depending on the long-term viability of the transport program for projects from south bend indiana to chicago. they provided the funding for the national transit program and we believe any state matches will also be there so we are depending on this federal program blan viability so i look forward to working with you and your staff of the federal transit administration to ensure the economic benefits of the program can be realized in that communities like south bend,
gary coming east chicago india indiana. on behalf of bipartisan delegation to do so in its fiscal year 2019 annual report i want to invite you to visit the south shore line in indiana to see the potential of the line in its project in the west lake corridor protection project. i know the nomination hearing we discussed you visiting indiana and i was encouraged by the response and hopeful that you might visit this project. thank you so much. >> secretary, it is good to see you again and appreciate you
answering the questions. like many colleagues i have concerns that have been expressed by the dozens of mayors across the country including from those in rural communities and one of them i want to talk a little bit about and this has been pertaining to the contract tower program because in boulder city, there is in airport a an airport tha0 operations in 2016 and they have experienced several incidents where aircraft were using
crossing runways at the same time it had close calls and also boulder city had an increase of 15%. what can i tell the mayor on whether it is going to exist and be protected for their potential benefit of >> whenever therof >> whenever there is a budgetary pressure, what happens if the contract towers become the easiest targets pretty elimination cutbacks. once again that is why the administration is making the point that the air traffic control system needs to be separate from the regulatory part of the faa. if would be self-sustaining.
it's basically a change in the government structure. nothing will change from one day to another during the transition. are they assured that they would be able to obtain a contract tower under either program whether we privatize or not, should they be able to rely on the benefit? >> dot communities would continue to be very important because of the steady budget process, there is a creator chance for the programs like the contract towers. >> is that something that you would be advocating for to ensure they are protected under either program and that it's there to protect the needs they have? >> guess because i'm always concerned about rural america. we would be glad to talk about
them specifically. >> you heard from my colleague of course i am also looking for some extension of the programs in the innovation for the test site in nevada but i'm also curious i want to make sure that if you could lay out for me i know there has been several freezes in the regulations. i want to make sure that those programs and policies are not holding back any of the development into the research regulations. >> the police put into place the case with every administration when they first come in. none of the positions are ever impacted by the freeze. but i would take a look and i do not believe that the particular product that you are talking about has been impacted.
>> you did talk about that with respect to the commercial users. and i appreciate -- i know you've stated recently at a conference in fargo that the administration is working to resolve the policies and issues to safely integrate drones into the airspace. would you concur that there is still a member of of several oversight? scenic i'm not quite sure how to answer that. it is a new field, so there are several issues flying over the heads of people for example. >> i agree there are a lot of issues we are looking at. i think there's concerns about federal preemption as well hindering any innovation in this space. can i get a commitment you are willing to work with us to make sure there is a fine balance and we are not hindering that
innovation and if you would be willing to do so, that would be great. then also let us know in congress is there a way that we should be looking at a way to clarify the intent regarding the balance to the unmanned aircraft if i can get a commitment that you are willing to work. thank you very much. appreciate it. thank you mr. chairman. as you know, i've flown aircraft all over the world both professionally but now as a private citizen without a doubt the air traffic control system is the best and also the most complex. air traffic controllers do a phenomenal job to ensure travel is safe and efficient. this technology is neat and
upgraded is absolutely perfect as a procurement issue. if there is a problem with our system is that the congress doesn't guarantee a consistent and reliable funding to do the job more successfully. we've heard today it is exempt from the federal procurement rules so they could if congress would allow them to do so procure the technology they need far faster than the current. when we last spoke i highlighted a primary goal for the act is to provide highway and transit decision-makers with the funding that they need to make good decisions and in that same vein if congress is willing to provide funding certainty then they could have planned better, speed up implementation and avoid a conflict and dangerous reorganization of air traffic control systems by privatizing it. we are not canada or great britain and they manage the
busiest airspace in the world and it's not even in the same ballpark. and yet despite the challenge the faa has made america's traffic system the safest in the world. it's certainly safer than the examples championed by the advocates of privatization. i do not think that they are granted and i will not gamble with the safety of the flight to address the reliability issues. i strongly oppose any proposal to privatize the faa, the airspace, excuse me. as you know, transportation plays a critical role in connecting the communities across this country and an economic opportunities and as a member of the infrastructure related committees, one of my priorities is to ensure communities are located and benefit from the result from that investment so that those
jobs remain and this is important is one come and go areas. in 2015 congress established a local labor program that allowed the municipalities to consider geographic hiring preferences, economic-based and laboring for veterans. as a metric of the business to pilot had been renewed twice most recently for five years. considering the focus of the hearing would you connect to working with me to expand the program to aviation projects? >> i don't know enough about it i'm always willing to work with members of congress. >> that would be great. if you look at the fact that it's been renewed twice this is a good sign of the success and i would hope we could expand it. of the year this year your authors delete a rule that would
have made it easier for consumers living with disabilities to know how frequently they damage noted dae equipment like wheelchairs or scooters. i sent you a letter asking you to explain the decision to delay the rule that you haven't responded yet and in fact you just told senator blumenthal you have a reputation of always responding. >> [inaudible] will you commit to responding to my letter now lacks >> absolutely. >> thank you. along the way, as they former member of the house oversight committee, i believe congress has a constitutional obligation to ensure taxpayers dollars are spent wisely and we helped foster an environment where any individual regardless that crowd can achieve the american dream. oversight of the branch
shouldn't be a partisan issue. transparency and accountability shouldn't be a partisan issue so i am troubled that the white house ordered federal agencies to disregard requests for information from congressional democrats. i'm sure my republican colleagues see the folly in this directive as we know both parties have experienced in the minority. will you commit to providing all of this is not just republicans with timely responses to requests for information? >> i always have come at this particular issue is different from it is an oversight issue and administrations past including the current committee oversight comes from a ranking. >> that we haven't always required the chairman to sign off. >> this is not a new practice. it was followed by the previous administration as well. >> when did they feel the need to issue a new letter and mr. chairman and i would request unanimous consent that the
article i have on the white house orders agencies to ignore democrats oversight request would be included in the record. why would the white house have the need to do that? >> you would have to ask the white house. >> thank you so much. >> senator klobuchar. >> thank you so much madam secretary. i was there earlier and heard a few of your answers and had some other things that i wanted to first of all reiterate i know that the senator talked about some of our concerns with air traffic control reform and i know we will be talking about those going forward and some of the essential air service budget cuts that i know senator fisher and senator shots mention. i thought i would focus on something that hasn't been discussed, the small airplanes revitalization act which i introduced with senator murkowski that was signed into law and requires the faa to
modernize the certification regulations for small airplanes design and there is still work to do on the certification process. the senator passed reauthorization bill from last time and for the positions to further streamline the certification process and i'm hopeful that this will include certification reforms. how would the companies be affected if they fell behind other countries in developing new certification standards? >> we certainly would not want that to happen. we would want to be up to date and responsive so we would continue to work on that. >> i think it is important that we manufacture some of this and we try to keep up to date to compete with other nations in the love of god is safety reform.
the open skies agreement is a part of the policy for all air carriers both democratic and republican administrations pursued and expanded these agreements which have provided u.s. consumers and carriers and airports with more choice. senator isakson and i send you a concern about state owned carriers. you reaffirm the value of the open skies agreement and we are concerned about the negative effects if this keeps going that this will have for american carriers and american jobs. what steps are the administration taking to ensure that the agreements are protecting u.s. workers and carriers from unfair competition? >> we are concerned about protecting u.s. jobs and a.
that is good. thank you. >> it isn't just about the quality. as you know it is also depending on our own 8 feet asian workforc-- asian airforce both e ground. the safe skies act which is reintroduced as something that i introduced with senator boxer. after the flight 347 and apply them to cargo pilots. currently they have loose requirements. what actions are being taken to combat fatigue?
if the congress has a different point of view we look forward to working with you on that. >> one last question i had a letter urging the dot to investigate incidents of fraudulent and deceptive practices in the online travel and tourism marketplace. we know some companies imitate the websites of actual airlines in order to attract the legislation on the fraudulent sites that can leave consumers with airline itineraries that can't be honored and missed connections and cost money. is the department taking some new steps to combat what is a relatively new problem and that is the online travel. >> we are very cognizant of this issue and i hope to have more
staffing in the future as we go forward. that certainly will help us address this issue as well. >> okay. very good. one last question in the extension bill that requires the department measures when traveling on a plane there hasn't been a study yet. we are sympathetic to the public who have family members that are so debated. we look forward to working with you. >> i heard some of the answers when i was here. thank you for your service.
>> let me ask a question regarding the community that is concerned about how they would fare under the proposed system. it stresses the importance of maintaining access but also note all users of the system should pay their fair share. does the administration envision them being able to charge per flight on general aviation operators? >> i'm glad you brought that up because in my statements i have not mentioned the aviation and i was going to add my testimony today with the mentioning of the general aviation interest. we are very concerned about obviously the administration's proposal. we are committed to working with
them on this issue. they would be nominating two out of the 13 seats. again the interest and influence will be felt. the other thing i should say is it includes a difference in the mom and pop around the country so we understand the issues general aviation is concerned about and we want to work with them. >> one of the concerns they have is the cost to access the airspace and whether or not the fees would be assessed. that's the specific question whether the administration
envisions the fees on general aviation operators and that is the question i think the bill -- >> using one example and that is canada. i think it is like $65 for the year. there is a consensus on that particular issue in that we are moving forward with legislation. we would love to do a multi-year reauthorization bill that would attract broad support in the senate. that was the case we had last time. so i guess what i would suggest coming out of the hearing is you and your team and the administration make every effort possible to try to find consensus among the stakeholder
community on this issue because it is easier to get a consensus on this committee and the senate if there is a consensus among those that are going to be most impacted by the proposed changes. and right now i think as you heard today there are questions on both sides of how it would function and operate, so the more precise as you work through the answers of the questions can have more clarity about this committee and the broad sense of the whole senate might be. ..
>> >> i think with that, we will keep the hearing record couple of weeks, it is members wish to submit questions, we will ask you to do that into the timeframe that you can respond as quickly as possible. thank you for being here today, and your response to the many questions amazed -- raised by the numbers of this committee, and we look forward to continuing to work with you.
>> , your calls and comments on washington journal. and newsmakers with a hunger -- ohio congressman steve stivers. after that, the testimony of former fbi director james comey. >> tonight, q&a is in hyde park we go inside for a rare look at fdr's personal office and collection of artifacts with the museum's director. library opened in june
19 41, while he was still president of the united states, and this became the northern oval office. he had an incredibly inquisitive mind, so there are 22,000 books. every book was selected by fdr to be in this room. this room is a most identical to the way it was when fdr died. nothing has changed. >> that is tonight at eight: -- 8:00 eastern, only on c-span. >> this morning, the heritage foundation discusses the senate of former fbi director james comey regarding the russia investigation. and then michael to mask it ky talksout his -- tomas about his recent article. and then finally, the middle east institute examines rising --sions between recent
several gulf states after recent terror attacks in iran. washington journal is next. ♪ >> good morning. the senate intelligence committee will held its 10th hearing of the year on tuesday. we will have it live on c-span. a new weekend development with word yesterday from the attorney general jeff sessions that he will testify. it is sunday morning, june 11, and thank you for joining us on the washington journal. also on capitol hill, a busy week while the timeline continues to shift. the senate debate over health care will continue in the week ahead and the house taking its measure to bring some changes within the department of veterans affairs, including the ability to fire those were n