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to send by air first-class mail where it reaches its destination more timely than by surface means.

Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.

Senator MONRONEY. Such a project would, in your opinion, include helicopter transportation of this mail that is being sent by air so that it wouldn't take 2 or 3 hours to get from the downtown Post Office out to the airport?

Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir. And while the Board hasn't taken any position on this, I have every reason to think that the Board will approve the Postmaster General's approach to rapid movement of mail in the public interest.

Senator MONRONEY. I would be very surprised if you came in and did not discuss this.
This offers some hope for an increasingly steady load of the service, and you would favor, would you not, this savings in the movement of mail by air, the hauling of this by air rather than surface transportation, where it would arrive so much more rapidly-

Mr. BOYD. Absolutely.

Senator MONRONEY. In the city where you now operate or might operate?

Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.

Senator MONRONEY. Roughly speaking, the mail volume would at the present time constitute only 2 percent of gross, is that correct?

Mr. BOYD. Yes, sir.

Senator MONRONEY. This reduction, percentagewise, do you feel it will force these helicopter lines to give less frequent service? This is one thing I fear in the percentage reduction. We have been arguing this point with feeder lines. The smaller the amount of service, the more subsidy it requires because of the unavailabilty [[unavailability]] of plane service at the time that the public likes to travel.

Mr. BOYD. Mr. Chairman, the reduction in subsidy will not in our judgment serve to reduce the frequencies. However, I should tell you that as a result of prior reductions, none of the carriers is operating its full certificate authority. In fact my guess is that none of them are operating at as much as 50 percent of their route mileage today.

Senator MONRONEY. But the route mileage that they do operate is not suffering from inadequate frequency.

Mr. BOYD. No, sir, and we don't anticipate that the scaled down subsidy for future years will result in a frequency limitation. In fact as soon as they get the instrument flight authority, we expect the passenger revenues to increase rather substantially to more than offset the reduction in the subsidy.

Senator MONRONEY. Senator Lausche?

Senator LAUSCHE. I will yield to Senator Cannon.

Senator CANNON. Mr. Boyd, I take it from your testimony that you feel there is no hope of salvaging the Chicago operation so far as your position is concerned?

Mr. BOYD. No, sir I would not like to leave that impression. I think that the crux of the matter is in the reactivation of Midway Airport. If it is reactivated as a trunkline terminal, then I think it is entirely possible that Chicago Helicopter Airways will be needed for future service.

The airlines have given little indication of a desire to return to Midway from their services at O'Hare for many reasons. United Airlines