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  Rapid and efficient transportation service for passengers traveling short distances is the most important challenge facing aviation today. At the present time the helicopter is the only vehicle to provide such a service, permitting operation from minimum landing and takeoff areas that can be constructed in many places where only limited space is available. The helicopter also has the unique facility of being able to fly above surface congestion and at the same tome fly beneath congested air space occupied by fixed-wing aircraft. 
  The helicopter experiment has made it clear that this vehicle provides as a much needed method of transportation that cannot be supplied in any other way and, after a further development period, will perform an invaluable service for a large segment of the traveling public.
  The Government has already invested substantial funds in the helicopter program which is being ably implemented by operators in the Nation's three largest cities. In our opinion, abrupt cancellation of this program by Congress would be false economy and would not be in the best interest of the Nation. Your attention is directed to the recommendation of the "Project Horizon" report in September 1961 that the helicopter experiment should be continued where it has been certificated. We believe that the vision and objectivity of your subcommittee will lead to the same position and conclusion.
  While Chicago's helicopter traffic is presently at a low volume, the return of scheduled air carrier service to Midway is expected to stimulate substantial growth of helicopter traffic here during the next 5 years. The value of having this service in Chicago was demonstrated most recently during several storms when a number of carrier flights scheduled to land at Chicago-O'Hare International Airport were diverted to Chicago Midway Airport. In each instance Midway accepted these flights without delay and Chicago Helicopter Airways transported the arriving passengers to O'Hare and downtown Chicago.
  The Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry therefore urges that the continuation of the helicopter program in the three major cities where it is now being conducted be given the strongest possible support, in accordance with the recommended program for declining subsidies through fiscal year 1970, so that the Nation may realize the maximum benefit from Federal funds already spent and gain knowledge through further practical experience in the operation of this aircraft.
  Respectfully submitted.
                     THOMAS H. COULTER,
                     Chief Executive Officer,
      The Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry 

                                MARCH 8, 1965.

Re federally supported helicopter air service program. 
  The membership of the National Association of State Aviation Officials is composed of 44 State aeronautics commissions and departments--governmental agencies established under State law to foster and develop aviation and the air transportation industry, and to otherwise serve the public.
  We appreciate the opportunity to submit this statement in the record of hearings being held by the Aviation Subcommittee on the subject of whether the Government should continue, expand, or limit the federally supported helicopter air service program.
  One of the principle objectives of all State aviation agencies is the development of a national air transportation system, providing optimum service to every community of their respective States. 
  With the advent of new type jet aircraft, the problem of being able to travel long distances in a relatively short time has been solved; however, one of aviation's most perplexing problems has been the reduction of travel time from airport to city, and difficulties have been encountered in efficiency transporting by air persons traveling distances ranging from 50 and 300 miles.
  From these reasons, and the fact that the helicopter has proved to be a unique vehicle capable of utility no other type vehicle can provide, State aviation agencies have been keenly interested in the scheduled helicopter air service program,
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