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Government to stay out of aviation industry’s way, says top US Department of Transportation official

United States Department of Transportation (DOT) Undersecretary for Policy, Derek Kan, has indicated that the government is keen on just staying out of the way of the aviation industry and letting the market play out.

“The lesson for us in Washington [from US airlines’ recent financial success and the emergence of ultra-LCCs] is to remove onerous regulatory burdens,” said Kan at an International Aviation Club (IAC) luncheon that was held in Washington DC.

Stressing the wide range of airlines business models in the country and the investments that are being made by different carriers, Kan remarked, “We want to be a part of that.”

He also added that the management plans that resulted in a substantial number of airline bankruptcies looks to be behind them already.

“Airlines are no longer simply chasing market share,” stated Kan.

Kan explained that the DOT takes a “vigorous systematic approach” in assessing regulations on all transportation sectors, and has discovered that several regulations or proposals “do not seem to have a cost-benefit” foundation.

Stressing that policies “critical for safety” would “remain untouched,” Kan urged airline officials gathered at the IAC luncheon audience to collaborate with the DOT about redundant regulations.

“Please flag for us regulations that you think need to be looked at,” Kan said.

Late last year, DOT removed two proposals that would have compelled US carriers to collect and publish data on supplementary revenue and reveal baggage fees to passengers at point-of-sale.

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