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(The following communication was received for the record:)
AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA,
Washington 6, D. C., June 9, 1948. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: On May 17, 1948, I appeared before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the House in support of H. R. 6180, a bill to amend the Federal Airport Act. As I understand the purpose of that bill, it is designed to guarantee that air carriers operating from airports on which Federal funds are expended under the Federal Airport Act, may obtain supplies, equipment, and materials from suppliers or vendors of their choice. Stated differently, the bill has as its purpose the prevention of exclusive concessions or monopolies for the sale or delivery, at Federal aid airports, of supplies, equipment, and materials needed by air carriers.
In my statement in support of the bill I addressed myself principally to concessions at airports for the sale or dispensing of aviation fuel, because, from a dollar standpoint, it is the most important material supplied air carriers at airports. I stated that one of the most serious objections to the granting or exercise, by airport managements, of monopolies for the sale or dispensing of aviation gasoline is that, if the practice receives general acceptance, the air lines will completely lose control of one of the most important items of their operating costs. I stated that the price an air line would have to pay for gasoline at a particular airport would depend upon the price the concessionaire had to pay for the monopoly, or, if the monopoly were exercised by the airport management, upon the amount of revenue which the latter desired to raise from this source.
Recently there have come to my attention H. R. 6747, introduced by Representative Heselton, of Massachusetts, and S. 2777, a companion bill, introduced by Senator Saltonstall
, of Massachusetts. These bills are apparently designed to amend the Federal Airport Act for the purpose, among others, of expressly sanctioning monopolies, at Federal-aid airports, for the sale or delivery of aviation gasoline. In other the bills are intended to sanction the practices which H. R. 6180 seeks to forbid.
I recently received a letter from one of our member air lines which furnishes specific proof of the soundness of the objection to airport gasoline monopolies, which I mentioned above. This air line advises that at one point on its system the airport management has granted a monopoly to sell aviation fuel on the airport, and that at another point the airport management itself is exercising such a monopoly. The result has been a tremendous increase, at those airports, in the cost of gasoline to the air line. At the first airport the increase amounts to 22 cents per gallon. At the second the increase amounts to approximately 1842 cents per gallon.
This air line also advises me that a 20-cents-per-gallon increase in its gasoline costs would increase its total fuel costs $12,000,000 per year. As you know, no air line could shoulder such a burden and remain in business.
I am sure you and the members of your committee will wish to give this point serious thought in considering H. R. 6180 and H. R. 6747. Yours very truly,
Executive Vice President. Х