Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, traveling by air has become more laborious than ever. Over the years, several major airlines have increasingly consolidated their monopolies, prices have risen and the quality of the customer experience has plummeted. Now, staffing shortages are causing waves of cancelled flights worldwide, along with exacerbating existing supply chain issues. A panel of experts joined Roundtable to talk about the current state of air travel and its possible solutions. In this segment, they discuss state- and local-level interventions that can improve transit across the board.
General Anthony Tata, who previously served as North Carolina’s Secretary of Transportation, notes that there’s plenty of opportunity for state-level action that improves overall travel infrastructure.
“When I was secretary, I saw the Panama Canal was being widened, so I said, 'We've got to widen our harbor so that the ships can get up here.' We took three years, built that out, and bought a couple of new cranes,” he recounts. “Now the Panama ships can get into Wilmington, and that increases the amount of goods that can be delivered in one shot.”
He also argues that strengthening regional airports can improve the panorama of commercial air travel, as well as boosting opportunity outside of metropolitan centers.
“These could be one county over from the main airport. It would create new industries and new development, and you'd still be really close to the main hub,” he says. “It would fall into that vision of trying to stimulate economies all around the country.”
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Watch the full discussion below:
Marc LoPresti, Co-Founder, Battlefin Group
General Anthony Tata, Retired Army Brigadier
Marc Sellouk, Founder & CEO, Flewber