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What effect would a substantial increase in the market for helicopters have in reducing unit and maintenance costs?

What cost-saving benefits do trunk airlines realize as a result of helicopter operations?

What effect would an abrupt termination of subsidy have on the future of existing helicopter carriers? Would such a determination mean the extinction of the commercial helicopter industry?

If the Government should withdraw subsidy support, what alternatives are available to insure continuation of this industry?

We are pleased to have as our first witness this morning the distinguished junior Senator from California, Senator Murphy.


Senator MURPHY. I would like to thank the committee. I appreciate very much the opportunity to be able to appear before you and ask your encouragement and assistance to obtain action which will permit and encourage a continuation of the helicopter service in two of the largest metropolitan areas in my State.

There is presently helicopter service serving the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the civic and business organizations in those areas are united unanimously in attesting to the value of this service and in urging its continuation, that the continuation be helped and encouraged in every way possible and practical. To understand the importance of this service to the areas it might be helpful to know something about their geographical situation, which is peculiar.

Los Angeles Airways serves a sprawling area containing 7 million people. It is served by one major regional airport. In this service area are the San Fernando Valley, which alone has a larger population than Houston; Orange County, which has more people than Cleveland --

Senator LAUSCHE. You had better be careful. [Laughter.]

Senator MURPHY. It is not all concentrated in one town, Senator, and the Pomona Valley, which has more people than Newark, N.J. It convers towns like Van Nuys, Glendale, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Long Beach, San Bernardino, and a number of other towns. In this area there is no adequate public transportation system, and its congested traffic situation is so well known that it does not require amplification here. It has been the butt of many jokes. You can get on the freeway in the morning there, or evening, and spend a week, each day. The prospects for the future are, of course, for more people in these areas, more cars, and more congestion.

In San Francisco the area served by SFO is also unique. Here water is the barrier to surface transportation and, as in Los Angeles, there is no adequate public transportation system on the ground between the points of San Francisco Airport, Oakland, Contra Costa, Berkeley, and Marin County, which are served by SFO helicopters.

These airlines which have carried millions of pounds of mail and air express annually, and hundreds of thousands of passengers, have proved their value to the people of my State. They have also, I believe,