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HELICOPTER AIR SERVICE PROGRAM     367

New York Airways, for example, has sought authority to operate in the Washington-Baltimore area.  Undoubtedly, several other major metropolitan centers would also benefit from such service.

Mr. Chairman, it has been estimated by the Civil Aeronautics Board that an additional investment of $11.4 million through July 31, 1970, will be sufficient to enable these commercially operated helicopter services to become self-sufficient.

Mr. Chairman, we must not allow ourselves to limit our need for new and improved mass transportation to land transportation systems.  To do so is clearly unrealistic and impractical and most assuredly contrary to the national interest which we are bound to respect.

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STATEMENT OF SENATOR ABRAHAM A. RIBICOFF, DEMOCRAT, OF CONNECTICUT, TO THE AVIATION SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE

Mr. Chairman, the continuation of certificated helicopter service in accordance with the 5-year plan of the Civil Aeronautics Board is of great importance to the citizens of the State of Connecticut. 

Connecticut has a vital stake in the development of practical low-cost, short-haul, vertical lift air transportation.  The facilities of Sikorsky Division of United Aircraft Corp, and the Kaman Helicopter Corp. make Connecticut one of the largest helicopter manufacturing States.

Today, in Connecticut we have a number of large cities in vital need of improved short-haul air transportation.  The helicopter can provide quick and expedient air service from city center to city center.  The certificated helicopter carriers have already made remarkable progress in achieving this objective, the introduction of new twin-turbine helicopters with far greater speed, a high comfort level and low cost, the development of all-weather capability plus the ability to land on the rooftops of New York are recent and notable developments.

In the new few years, even more significant breakthroughs can be accomplished. It would, in my judgment, be most imprudent to terminate abruptly Federal assistance in these activities just as significant breakthroughs are being realized. 

In addition, of course, Connecticut is the center of helicopter manufacturing with the facilities of the Sikorsky Division of the United Aircraft Corp. and the Kaman Helicopter Corp.  The Sikorsky Division sells aircraft not only to the certificated carriers here, but has large orders abroad.  These international sales make a significant contribution to diminishing our balance-of-payment deficit.  If the U.S. Government should have so little confidence in its own helicopter services as to terminate their activities, it could not help but have a pronounced effect on helicopter sales to foreign countries.  In a way, these operations are a showcase to illustrate to other countries what American manufacturing ingenuity can develop.

The modest subsidy requirement for continuing helicopter service is a small price to pay for these significant developments and contributions.

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STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE EUGENE KEOGH TO THE AVIATION SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE

I am appearing before this committee to express, in the strongest possible terms, my support of the helicopter subsidy phaseout plan recently proposed by the Civil Aeronautics Board.  This plan will enable continuation of scheduled helicopter service in the New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles areas, under a minimum scale of diminishing subsidy designed to enable these carriers to attain economic self-sufficiency by 1970.

It seems to me that the most compelling single reason for adopting this plan is the waste that would result from its rejection.  Far from constituting an economy measure, the proposal reflected in the present version of the fiscal 1966 budget, to terminate these subsidies at the end of this calendar year, would in fact result in a reckless disregard of the large public investment already make to bring helicopter transportation in the United States to its present state of development. For unless the Board's plan is implemented there does not appear to be any real doubt that the helicopter operations which have been developed after so many years of effort in the three largest metropolitan areas in the Nation, will have to be abandoned.
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