The industry has given its unqualified support to the report by the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, despite the ambiguity over how its costly recommendations will be funded.
But then it's not exactly good for business to criticise the findings of an inquiry in to the most sensitive area of aviation - consumer confidence in air travel has already taken plenty of knocks in the US.
Delta Air Lines was the first airline publicly to endorse the Commission's report, which was presented to US President Bill Clinton on February 12, saying that the Commission has done 'an outstanding job'. US Air Transport Association president Carol Hallett added her praise, describing as 'prudent' a recommendation on bag matching that would increase security without causing undue disruption within the complex US domestic air transport system. Indeed, a bonus for the major airlines was the Commission's support for a user fee system to replace the ticket tax to fund the US air traffic control system (see story left).
However, even Vice President Al Gore, who heads the Commission, acknowledges that the $100 million which the government is being asked to put up each year to help fund the initiatives will be a fraction of what will be required. The Commission has left the question of funding open for debate.
The report by the so-called Gore Commission, which was set up by Clinton in the aftermath of last year's TWA 800 crash, contains more than 50 recommendations related to safety and security and aims to reduce the fatal accident rate in aviation by 80 per cent over the next 10 years.
Source: Airline Business