Sun, Apr 04, 2004
Meeting Prompted By Anderson's Disparaging Remarks
AOPA President Phil Boyer and
Northwest Airlines CEO Richard Anderson sat down Friday afternoon
to discuss their differences as highlighted by a strong,
anti-general aviation editorial Anderson wrote for Northwest's
in-flight magazine. Immediately after the editorial was published,
AOPA prepared a line-by-line rebuttal of the editorial.
"Mr. Anderson's editorial clearly states his views on the
subject of GA," said Boyer. "But we want people to understand that
they are just that — his views. We object to almost every
point he made. General aviation pays its fair share of the cost to
maintain airports and the air traffic control system. Airlines
place a much higher demand on the system and pay a proportionately
higher percentage, which they pass on to their customers."
The meeting was also expected to
touch on a number of issues specific to Northwest's home airport,
Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) -- issues that may have
prompted the editorial.
MSP is owned and operated by the Metropolitan Airport Commission
(MAC). The MAC also owns and operates six general aviation reliever
airports in the Twin Cities area. Some of the funds raised at MSP
are used to support the reliever airports. Northwest Airlines has
demanded that the MAC keep all MSP funds at MSP.
"AOPA believes that would be a false economy," Boyer said before
the meeting. "It is in Northwest's interest to have a strong
reliever system in the Twin Cities so that general aviation
aircraft have somewhere besides MSP to land, easing congestion and
delays at a busy air carrier airport.
FMI: AOPA's Line-By-Line Rebuttal To Anderson
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