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By Bob Andelman

Dec 1, 2008

Corporate Meetings & Incentives Magazine

Among the many groups hoping that the Obama administration will embrace its priorities for change is the National Business Travel Association, focused on issues affecting corporate travel managers. NBTA’s agenda includes modernization and funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, travel tax relief, the Registered Traveler program, and more. We spoke to Don Draves, chair of the NBTA Legislative Advisory Council and corporate services manager for MillerCoors in Milwaukee, about NBTA’s upcoming legislative efforts.

CORPORATE MEETINGS & INCENTIVES: Which of NBTA’s key legislative issues will be most affected by the new administration?

DON DRAVES: NBTA’s No. 1 priority is to have the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill passed. The bill failed in June 2008, and short-term funding is in place until March 2009. President-elect Obama is expected to make FAA reauthorization a top priority. He also supports the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the hiring of additional air traffic controllers with hopes to improve relations between controllers and the FAA.

Reauthorization of the FAA sets the stage for a more modern air traffic control system that can address today’s capacity constraints. Think about the GPS system in your car: You can plug in an address and get the best route to your destination. A new air traffic system called the Next Generation Air Transport System (NextGen) would allow the airlines to use similar technology, already on board most aircraft, to go from point A to point B on a straighter line than FAA controllers can direct them now, reduce separation, and reduce fuel burn. It’s the next evolutionary step.

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