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PLEASE NOTE: The following transcript is a portion of the official hearing record of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Additional material pertinent to this transcript may be found on the web site of the Committee at [http://www.house.gov/transportation]. Complete hearing records are available for review at the Committee offices and also may be purchased at the U.S. Government Printing Office.



House of Representatives,

Subcommittee on Aviation,

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,

Washington, DC.

    The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:03 p.m., in Room 2247, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. John J. Duncan, Jr. (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

    Mr. DUNCAN. I am going to go ahead and call this subcommittee meeting to order.

    Today, we turn our attention to a matter of great significance to the local Washington community and one of some importance to national aviation interests as well, and that is the future of National and Dulles Airports.
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    To review the history for a moment, these two airports were formerly under Federal control. Burdened by the constraints of the Federal budget, National and Dulles were unable to undertake much-needed capital improvements. Accordingly, in 1986, the Reagan administration recognized that operating airports, like many other activities, is best handled by the local community. It proposed and Congress passed a plan to transfer these two airports to local control.

    Since that time, there has been much progress at both National and Dulles. Both are working and are now in the midst of a major improvement program. At National, the airport is building a new 35-gate terminal, building with easy access to Metro, new parking garages and separate arrival and departure roadways. At Dulles, the size of the midfield terminal will be doubled and will be connected to the main terminal by a people-moving system.

    Unfortunately, all this good work is jeopardized by a recent court decision invalidating the airports' Board of Review. Under the law, a judicial invalidation of the Board of Review means that the local airport authority is unable to carry out many of its key functions, such as adopting a budget or signing major contracts.

    Unless Congress takes action before the effective date of the court's decision, construction work could begin to grind to a halt. Obviously, we don't want or need that to happen. That is why we have moved quickly and are holding this hearing to look into this matter.

    We want to try to balance the competing interests here and have as much local control over these facilities as possible. We also recognize that these airports were originally constructed with Federal tax money and are on Federal property and are of great interest and serve citizens from all over the Nation.
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    And so, with that, I want to first thank everyone for coming and taking time out of their busy schedules to be here for this hearing. We have great interest in this hearing today. We have many witnesses lined up today, and we have many more who wanted to testify, but we just could not fit them in.

    The record for this hearing will be held open for two weeks, and all of those who wish to testify but were unable to be included today can submit their statements for the record.

    If there is sufficient interest from the membership of the subcommittee, we will possibly consider holding a second hearing. At this time, though, because of his great interest in this issue, I would like to call on my good friend, the former Chairman of the full committee, Mr. Mineta from California, for any statement that he might wish to make at this time.

    Mr. MINETA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    I want to thank you for your active work on the committee of what we used to know as Public Works and Transportation which is now known, of course, dutifully named, as the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Your leadership on this committee has been very good and very strong. And now that you are chairing the Aviation Subcommittee, we look forward to your legislation, your chairmanship.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you.

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    Mr. MINETA. Mr. Chairman, we are here today to consider new legislation for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The Federal Government and the American people have a great deal at stake in the future of National and Dulles Airports. The Federal taxpayer bought and built these two airports, and the Federal Government continues to own them. Now Congress may have transferred to a regional body the authority to operate these airports, but it did not sell them. And, in fact, the regional authority was not prepared to buy them.

    The Federal taxpayers thus retained their full ownership stake in these airports, and that is what makes these two airports different from any other major commercial airport in our great country.

    The central question before us today is how do we assure that the Federal taxpayer interest, the national public interest in these airports is monitored and protected?

    Let me state at the outset that I was a leading advocate of transferring the authority to operate these airports to a new regional body. My objective then was to make possible the kind of infrastructure investment which was not happening when the Federal Government was operating these airports. No matter how much I tried as the Chair of the Aviation Subcommittee to get the Appropriations Committee to appropriate monies for these airports, we were not successful. And so the only way we could really do it was to create a joint powers agreement and give it bonding authority.

    Now, looking back, I am absolutely convinced that we made the right decision. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors has done an outstanding job and has undertaken its stewardship with a great sense of responsibility. And the infrastructure investment we sought has occurred, as everyone who has been to the airport in recent years can attest.
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    But the fact is that many Members of Congress opposed our efforts to transfer the airports. And they did so because we were transferring an extraordinarily valuable Federal asset to someone else to operate. And we face today, as Members of Congress faced as we did in the original transfer legislation, the question of how best to protect the ownership interest of Federal taxpayers who, over a 50-year period, built these airports.

    What we have at these two airports is essentially a landlord-tenant relationship. MWAA is the tenant with day-to-day occupancy and operating control of the airport. The Federal taxpayers and the Federal Government are the landlords. They built and still own the airports.

    The issue before us is how does the landlord retain reasonable oversight to assure that the tenant, no matter how responsible a tenant, is not using or altering the property in ways contrary to the owner's interest? How do we as part of our fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers make sure that we have the ability to assure them that their interests are being well-served?

    Now, while there are a few vocal people in the Washington area who would like to see National Airport closed or at least see no improvements in the existing airport buildings, what has struck me since the transfer is how much the national interests and the metropolitan interest in fact are in agreement.

    The national taxpayer invested in National but invested a lot more in Dulles and has every interest in seeing Dulles fully utilized. The metropolitan area residents have a parallel interest in seeing Dulles fully utilized so that overwhelming pressure to build up traffic at National does not prevail. They both have an interest in full utilization of Dulles.
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    Now, that full utilization depends on two things. The first, from my perspective, is the Dulles Access Road. That road is what makes Dulles viable. It was built by Federal taxpayers to protect their investment at Dulles; and, like Dulles, it is still federally owned. If it were to become clogged with non-airport traffic, growth at Dulles would be sharply curtailed; and the pressure would be on to break the flight restrictions at National.

    And from my conversations with people around the Nation—I could even say around the world—I think that Dulles is held in envy because of the Dulles Access Road.

    Now, I want to emphasize here today that the only time in its entire history that the Board of Review disapproved of the decision at the airports was to protect the Dulles Access Road from congestion by nonairport traffic. The Board of Review has taken no action on congressional perks or any of the other silly things people like to talk about when they don't really know what goes on at these two airports. The Board of Review's only action was about protecting the ability of all airline passengers to get to and from Dulles.

    Now those who are concerned about undue pressures to increase traffic at National should not condemn the Board of Review. They should thank it. The Board of Review took the key action to make it possible over the long haul to grow these airports in a way consistent with the metropolitan government's own policies, which is to say primarily at Dulles.

    Second, that basic metropolitan policy that growth should occur primarily at Dulles also depends on something called the perimeter rule which, in effect, reserves the long-haul flight road for Dulles.
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    Now, that rule has been stretched by Congress. If it were to be broken, the pressure to add to the number of flights at National would only increase. Again, both the Federal taxpayer and the metropolitan residents have an interest in seeing the perimeter rule retained.

    Now, some have said that the purpose of the Board of Review is to preserve the congressional access to National Airport. I say, look at what the Board has actually done. It has preserved uncongested access for all passengers to Dulles. I would say it has served both the national interest and the metropolitan interests very well. And I would even suggest that it has in the past and I believe could in the future serve the interests of the MWAA Board by being a bulwark against actions which the MWAA Board does not believe are in the interests of airports but which the Board may not be able to resist on its own.

    The Board of Review also serves as a bulwark against undue dominance by one part of the metropolitan area at the expense of the others. These airports are not Virginia's. They are not the District of Columbia's. They are not Maryland's. They should be operated for the benefit of all, and the Board of Review has and can continue to help assure that that is the case.

    It is clear the Board of Review, given recent interpretations of the separation of powers doctrine, cannot continue to exist in its present form. But it is also clear that the transfer of the airports to MWAA cannot remain viable without some kind of further legislation.

    And I believe that, contrary to much of the rhetoric surrounding this legislation, the most important issue at stake is the policy of directing most future growth to Dulles, a policy which is in both the metropolitan interests and in the interests of the Federal taxpayer.
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    I believe that a Board of Review with a role reduced to avoiding any executive functions, making it essentially an advisory body, only assists Congress in its oversight responsibilities, could help achieve those objectives and would pass any further court challenge.

    Given the fact that Federal taxpayers built these airports and continue to own them, the conclusion has to be that these two airports are not just like all the other airports. Some oversight mechanism which would help us carry out our special fiduciary responsibility on behalf of the taxpayers would seem to me to be entirely prudent and appropriate.

    I would like to close with a historical note, a letter that was written to me in 1992 by General Pete Quesada, then 88 years old. General Quesada was the first FAA administrator, appointed by President Eisenhower in 1959. In that role, he was very much involved in the Federal investment in Dulles Airport.

    And he wrote, and I quote, ''In years gone by, I was the first administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency. We were responsible for building Dulles Airport. History will reveal that during my time we went to great pains to reserve the Dulles Access Road to serve Dulles Airport and not to serve the real estate ventures of those who tried, with some degree of success, to convert Dulles Access Road to their own end. There are many who are exerting their efforts to preserving the Dulles Access Road to the purpose for which it was designed and built. It pains me to observe the success of those who are attempting to convert the Dulles Access Road to a Shirley Highway.

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    Over the years, fortune has been unkind to me and, as a result, I am blind. It is not my purpose to arouse your sympathy for my affliction. I handle that pretty well. I ignore it.''

    Four months after he wrote that letter, General Quesada died, but I hope that his thoughts can serve us today. Some of those who have been blind to what is really at stake here could use a little guidance from the blind.

    No other metropolitan area in the country has what this area has at Dulles, a complete major commercial airport bought and built by the Federal Government and handed over to a regional authority to operate. And I would hope that all parties to this issue would not lose sight of how extraordinary a situation it is and of the fact that a special mechanism to help protect that extraordinary good fortune might not be such a bad idea.

    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Mineta.

    I would now like to call on the very distinguished Chairman of the full committee, my good friend Mr. Shuster.

    Mr. SHUSTER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    I certainly appreciate your moving so expeditiously on this important matter because we need to get it settled quickly; and I certainly, as I emphasized before, look to place great weight on Congressman Mineta's views on this because he has been so deeply involved for such a long period of time.
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    In addition to the reasons which he has so clearly stated about the Federal interest in this matter, I would also emphasize that, beyond the fact that the Federal Government paid for these airports and owns these airports, there is the additional fundamental interest in that this is indeed the Nation's capital; and, therefore, there is a national interest as opposed to simply a regional interest. So I think we have to keep that in mind as we proceed.

    I am not so sure that we should keep the Board of Review at this point because, if it is a toothless tiger, it really can't do anything except make suggestions. I am not so sure that there is a great benefit to keeping it. But what I feel very strongly is that we need to provide the mechanism for the Federal interest to be protected.

    One of the alternatives, of course, for doing that is to write certain provisions in the statute. That would seem to make some sense. A further protection would be, once we do write provisions in the statute, to have periodic reauthorizations and that would provide for a protection of the Federal interest.

    On the issue of the Dulles Access Road, I would have to study that further, although I may finally support the position of my friend from California.

    On the question of changing the slot rules, that should be determined based on safety. And it seems to me that that is the foundation from which we should be making these decisions.

    Second, with regard to the perimeter rule which is related to slots, of course, my concern would be that by expanding the perimeter we would have to reduce the number of short-haul flights, and I would worry about that.
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    So I think we have several very important decisions here to be made, and I anticipate that we will move expeditiously to do so because it is in the interests not only of the region but of the Nation that we do so.

    Thank you very much.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    I would now like to call on my good friend, the Ranking Minority Member, Mr. Oberstar, from Minnesota.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    It is very good to have us all together here to hold this hearing so quickly after the court ruling on the case, as we did in 1991 following Supreme Court action.

    Unless we take legislative action by the end of March, the airports will not be able to undertake actions such as adopting a new budget, changing the master plan, signing major contracts. That would be an intolerable situation. We have to restore full powers to the Authority and—in order to carry out the work already initiated.

    And I listened with great care to the very thorough statement Mr. Mineta made of the background and evolution of the idea of the joint airport authority and the role that the oversight board has played. But I want to say that, going back to 1986, I opposed the legislation, voted against it because I thought the Board of Review provision was unconstitutional, and I thought that that was ultimately going to give us a problem, and it did.
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    Now three times—we dealt with it in 1991. We attempted to work out a formula that might be seen as constitutional. Mr. Clinger was the Ranking Republican Member on our subcommittee at the time, and we solicited comments from the American Law Division of the Library of Congress to help us craft a way in which the oversight committee Board of Review could function. And we thought we had crafted very solid constitutional language; but, again, it ran afoul of the court, came back, tried to address it again.

    But, fundamentally, what we are up against is a Supreme Court ruling that Congress cannot delegate executive power to itself. This is unfortunate because in its 7-year life the Board of Review has played an important role in assuring that the Airports—Dulles and National—will be managed to meet the need of airport users, especially all of our fellow citizens.

    As Members of Congress individually we have people coming from our districts to our Nation's capital to see the legislative or executive branches on important business. Or people are coming here for pleasure. Our distinguished Ranking Member, Norm Mineta, has served as Chairman of the Board of Review. Former colleagues of ours—John Paul Hammerschmidt, formerly the Ranking Member of this full committee, our former colleagues Larry Coughlin, and Bill Lehman—gave selflessly of their time and their vast experience to advise in the role they played on the Board of Review. And Mr. Mineta, as already mentioned, played an important role in keeping Dulles Access Road free of the commercialization that might otherwise have occurred.

    Again, these airports are national assets. They are unique. They were initially developed by the Federal Government. They are leased to a regional authority. They are a relatively small annual rental. We have a paramount national interest and a Federal interest in the two airports to see that they continue to be a gateway to the Nation's capital and used without discrimination by citizens from all parts of the country.
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    The question now is how can we continue to see that those airports continue to be operated in the national interest and in the interests of all airport users. Is it useful to maintain a Board of Review with limited powers or can the appropriate oversight be exercised by this committee as Mr. Clinger and I proposed to do? I think we have conducted vigorous and frequent oversight of the activities of the Authority.

    The one thing I will not be confident about is—and I went back and reviewed testimony in the previous hearings—is the Department of Transportation. They did not exercise oversight. The FAA did not exercise authority, oversight authority. They did not take onto themselves the responsibility that we expected the executive branch to undertake. And that will continue to be a concern.

    So there are going to be these issues raised in this hearing today, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to having those issues explored. There will be peripheral matters, indeed dealing with the peripheral issue, I will say a perimeter rule. And we are going to have a good lively discussion today.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much, very much, Mr. Oberstar.

    Under the previously announced rules of the full committee any other Member who has a statement they will be allowed to submit it in writing.

    [The prepared statements of Mr. Costello and Mr. Martini follow:]

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    [Insert here.]

    Mr. DUNCAN. And we will welcome the very distinguished first panel that we have. We have two outstanding Members of the House: my good friend, Congressman Jim Moran from Alexandria, and Congresswoman Connie Morella from Montgomery County, Maryland.

    However, I will welcome and go first to Senator McCain. Senator McCain was walking down the hall a little bit ahead of me so he was the very first one to arrive at this hearing so I think it is only fair that we should go to him first. He is an outstanding Member of the other body, and I believe Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee in that body.

    And, Senator McCain, it is a real honor and privilege for us to have you here today. I will ask this. We do have a large number of witnesses to follow; and if you could try to limit your statements to approximately five minutes each, we would appreciate that. And you may proceed.


    Senator MCCAIN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    And I am glad to see you are in observance of the early bird rule and also admonished me to be in speaking habits of the House where I once happily resided rather than those where I now reside.

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    I want to thank you for allowing me to be here today. It is very nice always to see a lot of old friends.

    As you know, Mr. Chairman, I had previously served for 4 years as the Ranking Republican on the Aviation Subcommittee and now will be the Chairman. I look forward to working with you on a myriad of very important challenges to the aviation industry in America and indeed worldwide. I have every confidence that we will be able to work very well together under the gentle hand and guidance of Congressman Clinger who has always been very helpful to me in a variety of ways.

    Mr. Chairman, very briefly, we intend to hold a hearing and mark up legislation as quickly as possible. As you stated, we are bumping into a March 31st deadline which, without legislation being passed, could harm their ability to proceed with various projects and do the business that they want to continue both at Dulles and National Airport.

    I am introducing legislation and we will have a hearing that examiners three things: one, abolish the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Review, eliminate the perimeter rule at National Airport, and lastly eliminate reserved parking spaces for Members of Congress and other top government officials.

    The latter issue has been well ventilated, so I won't even bother to bring it up here.

    The second issue I would like to focus my remarks on, Mr. Chairman, very briefly—the perimeter rule as imposed in 1968 as a way of helping Dulles Airport, which at that time was viewed as a white elephant. The perimeter rule—650 miles in distance. Then there was an extension of that perimeter rule; and the history is very clear that it was done by the former Speaker of the House, Jim Wright. And that perimeter rule was extended to 1,250 miles, which, coincidentally, happens to coincide with the western edge of the tarmac at Dallas-Forth Worth Airport.
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    My point is, Mr. Chairman, is that it was an artificial barrier to the marketplace.

    Now the question we have before us on the perimeter rule is whether we are going to allow the market to play, as it does in all other parts of the country—with the exception, I might add, of Love Field, which is also another restriction imposed by the former Speaker of the House, who I happen, by the way, to have enormous respect for his abilities and his legislative strength. But the fact is that this is an artificial barrier.

    Someone may allege that because I live in Phoenix, Arizona, that somehow that is why I would favor lifting this rule. Mr. Chairman, I am in my 13th year of commuting every weekend back to Arizona. It is not going to be an imposition to me or a nonimposition as far as how I get back there. I have been doing it for too many years.
    But the most important aspect of this whole issue is are we going to, as we do in every other part of the country, let airlines fly from one market to another and let the market work?
    Now, I would also add that every major airport in America today is expanding, including National and Dulles. And they are expanding because air travel is expanding. And to somehow believe that there would be some kind of draconian effect, especially since the slot rule remains in effect at National which limits the number of flights that can go in and out of National Airport, I think ignores the lessons of the marketplace.
    Finally, Mr. Chairman, there are several other issues. One of them is noise. The new aircraft that will be coming into National and Dulles Airports are quieter and less noisy. And I would ask that letters from McDonnell Douglas and Boeing be made a part of the record concerning the new technology associated with their new aircraft.
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    [The information received follows:]

    Senator MCCAIN. I would suggest that for us to continue an artificial barrier that was erected on a temporary basis in 1968, nearly 30 years ago—or 25 years ago—is not an appropriate thing to keep in place. And I would hope that we would be able to act together as soon as possible to meet this March 31st deadline.
    I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me to be here.
    Mr. DUNCAN. Well thank you very much, Senator McCain, and I want to also thank the other Members of the subcommittee who have turned up who are here thus far. And there will be others, I suppose, on their way.

    We will hear now from Congresswoman Morella.


    Mrs. MORELLA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Chairman of the full committee, Ranking Member, Members of the subcommittee. I really appreciate being here to make some comments on this issue, and I want to commend the subcommittee for holding this important hearing.
    I am pleased to testify as this subcommittee considers the role of Congress in the operations at Washington National and Dulles Airports.
    You know when the Supreme Court last month upheld a decision by the Appeals Court regarding the constitutionality of the Board of Review, as had been mentioned, it once again dissolved the operating powers of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority which, as you know, oversees Washington National and Dulles airports.
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    And, on March 31st, WMAA's ability to pass a budget, issue bonds, implement plans for the $2 million renovations at National Airport will end. Consequently, we in Congress must act quickly an pass legislation to allow National and Dulles Airports to continue to operate.
    I have introduced such legislation, and I urge the Members of the subcommittee to give careful consideration to the measure which I think handles the situation very smoothly. H.R. 836 would dissolve the Board of Review and would create a new authority appointed by local elected officials.
    The bill would allow the present members of the Board of Directors of WMAA to serve their full terms. However, as each member's term expires, new appointments would be made. It would be six in total by local elected officials who sit on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, COG, on their Board of Directors; and someone representing COG will be later testifying.
    Whereas the 1986 Airports Act provides for the appointment of the WMAA Board of Directors by the Governors of Virginia, Maryland, the Mayor of the District of Columbia and the President of the United States, this bill, H.R. 836, would provide for six appointments by local elected officials and two by the Virginia State legislature.
    I believe that an Airport Authority with members appointed by local elected officials would work hard to foster regulations that are fair and in the best interests of the airlines, the airports and the public. An authority that is responsive to local concerns will help the aviation industry remain a good neighbor to the communities that it serves.
    The Federal Government should not be in the business of operating airports. Traditionally, the role of airport developer and operator has been with local government, and the Federal Government has provided financial assistance.
    Congress should adhere to its traditional role by staying out of the daily operations at National and Dulles Airports. And I therefore urge this subcommittee to dissolve the congressional Board of Review and leave the daily operations in the capable hands of the WMAA Board of Directors.
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    You know, in 1986, when Congress first passed legislation to transfer control of National and Dulles Airports from the Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA, to the local Authority, WMAA—and Mr. Oberstar was here at that time and maybe others were, too, to vote on it—the appeals of citizens and local elected officials for relief from airport noise were taken into consideration. And, at that time, in response to local concerns, the slot rule, which limits the number of flights per hour at National, was incorporated into the transferral legislation as a good-faith agreement among Federal, local and airport officials.
    And since that time, however, citizens and local elected officials have felt left out of the governance of their local airports by Congress and unresponsive WMAA Board members. And, therefore, I urge this subcommittee not only to dissolve the Congressional Board of Review but also to allow members of the WMAA Board to be appointed by local elected officials who are more accountable to the local citizens. Residents of the communities that are impacted by overflights from National and Dulles will be less likely to take their case to court if they feel that their concerns are being represented before the WMAA Board.
    And if the Members of the subcommittee have concerns regarding the creation of a new Board of Directors, I have several other suggestions on how to link WMAA to local concerns. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, COG, could be given the authority to supply a list of candidates or appointees to the Governors of Maryland and Virginia and the Mayor of the District of Columbia or the Governors of Maryland and Virginia and the Mayor of the District of Columbia could be required to appoint at least one local elected official who serves on the board of COG.
    And so I—again, Mr. Chairman, I commend you for calling this hearing to address this very difficult and important issue which is of great—crucial significance to the metropolitan Washington area, and I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you.
    [Mrs. Morella's prepared statement follows:]
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    [Insert here.]

    Mrs. MORELLA. I wanted to, if I might, Mr. Chairman, introduce to you Al Brown because he is a member of the Citizens for the Abatement of Noise—citizens against the—
    Mr. BROWN. For the abatement of aircraft noise.
    Mrs. MORELLA. CAAN. So, Mr. Brown, thank you very much. He will speak for a minute or two.
    Mr. DUNCAN. Very briefly, Mr. Brown.

    Mr. BROWN. Very briefly, yes, sir. Thank you.
    I am a member of the board of CAAN—Citizens for the Abatement of Aircraft Noise. Our members are civic and homeowners associations in the metropolitan area—that is Maryland, the District and Virginia—and that includes thousands and thousands of local citizens. And that is why I am here today on their behalf, because I think they should be heard.
    It was CAAN in November, 1988, which began the suit to enjoin the operation of the Congressional Review Board. We were later joined by John Hechinger and Craig Baab, who are here today.
    After two attempts at legislation, each containing a Board of Review, they were found unconstitutional. CAAN is convinced that it is time for Congress to stop meddling with National and Dulles Airports and treat them like airports in the rest of the Nation. Our members and citizens in our metropolitan region want some voice in the control of these airports, and we believe our voice can best be heard through our local elected officials—that is, our regional officials who make up the board of COG.
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    CAAN believes that in the past it was the intimidation of the Airports Authority by the Board of Review which kept this quasi-governmental body from playing ball with the 18 other governmental bodies which make up COG. CAAN strongly supports H.R. 836, which Congresswoman Morella has just explained, because it ensures that a majority of the members of the Airports Authority Board will be handled through the COG board.
    Mr. DUNCAN. All right. Thank you, Mr. Brown. I apologize, but we can't allow an unscheduled witness to take precedence over a witness who is scheduled.
    Mr. DUNCAN. And so I would like to call on at this time—because I know that he and Mrs. Morella have very important duties to get to, I would like to call on Congressman Moran for his statement at this time.
    You may proceed.
    Mr. MORAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I very much appreciate this subcommittee recognizing the urgent necessity for legislation. My bill, H.R. 775 , would simply eliminate the requirement for the Review Board. And we would do so because the Supreme Court ruled that Jim Oberstar was right back in 1991 and then upheld that opinion and again this year that we did not need that.
    As you know, there was a reiteration of a Review Board, but in both times they simply decided that this is a violation of the separation of powers principle. And so it is—it is critical that we take care of this matter immediately because, unless we do, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority can't adopt a new budget. They can't authorize the issuance of new bonds. They can't revise their master plan. They can't even appoint their chief executive officer or award contracts or authorize any kind of changes to the terminal design that has already been—they have been working on. So they are in the midst of the construction that I know the Review Board wanted them to undertake and the modernization of the airports.
    My own personal opinion is that there is insufficient reason for the Congress to be involved in the oversight of National or Dulles Airport. There is no other airport in the Nation that has such Federal scrutiny over it.
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    And the fact is that the airports, the regional airports authority, has proven that it is fully capable of providing the kind of airport service and the modernization of National and Dulles that was the original objective of the legislation in the Review Board.
    It also concerns me that the regional authority has had to spend one and a half million dollars of its funds in defending the legality of the Review Board. That is not money well spent, particularly in hindsight.
    But I want to emphasize that, that the regional airport authority has certainly proven that it can do the job now. And whether there was sufficient confidence or not when the Review Board was initially created, there ought to be sufficient confidence now that the Review Board is not necessary; and I would hope we would not try again to come up with a reiteration of a Review Board.
    The Post editorial on January 25th concluded that there is no compelling reason to create some new bureaucracy in an attempt to maintain a Federal connection.
    So that is the principal point, and that is all my legislation would do.
    I want to mention, though, my objection to Senator McCain's legislation because I totally agree with Mr. Mineta that the perimeter rule ought to be retained that exists now. If it is lifted, as it would be under Senator McCain's legislation, it will have a profound and adverse impact on National, Dulles and, in fact, BWI.
    If you lift the 1,250 mile perimeter restriction that is existent right now, there would be approximately 50 flights per day that would become long-haul flights, principally to the West Coast; and that is why I want to particularly recognize Mr. Mineta for showing statesmanship over personal interest on this.
    But what it will do is to take traffic from Baltimore-Washington International and from Dulles and put it at National because National is more convenient to people working in Washington. And the principal reason why Dulles is flourishing now and has shown it is well worth the investment we had made not only in the Dulles Access Road but all the modernization and construction out there, the expansion, is that it is the best airport for long-haul flights.
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    If you put the long-haul flights at National, which would occur with lifting the perimeter rule, then we are again going to have a white elephant on our hands, quite possibly, at Dulles.
    So I very strongly would hope that we would not lift the perimeter rule nor, of course, the slot rule; and if we lift the perimeter rule there would be more pressure to lift the slot rule as well. We have two airports now in Washington, Dulles and Washington National, that are working very well. They have at least met, if not exceeded, the expectations of this subcommittee; and I would hope that we would recognize that. We would at least pass the legislation to eliminate the need for the Review Board and let well enough alone.
    Mr. DUNCAN. Well, thank you.
    Mr. MORAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Moran, and we will add anything that you wish to your statement for the record.
    [Mr. Moran's prepared statement follows:]

    [Insert here.]

    Mr. DUNCAN. And, Ms. Morella, we will allow you to attach Mr. Brown's full statement for the record if you wish to do that.
    We will try not to ask too many questions of either of you today because we know that you need to get on to other things.
    But let me just ask both of you, very briefly, considering the fact that both of these airports were constructed with Federal money, as Mr. Mineta and Mr. Shuster have pointed out, among others, and that there have been Federal dollars put into those airports since that time, do either one of you believe that there is a Federal role in regard to these airports possibly by the appointment by the President or by the Congress of Members who would be added to the membership to the Authority, for instance?
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    Mrs. MORELLA. Well, I think the courts have pointed out that there is an imbalance of power with regard to giving Congress the Review Board Authority. And, as I see these airports, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority were given kind of the autonomy to be able to be overseers. And I think that by having the bill that I have put in, by having the representatives chosen by the Governors, by the Mayor, by the Council of Governments, then you have one that is going to be responsible to all of the people of the United States and understand, kind of, the local community good neighbor approach.
    I see no reason for Congress to not know what is going on, but—obviously, it is contrary to the balance of powers to be able to give a specific review role to Congress, but there is always oversight this committee has, for instance.
    Mr. DUNCAN. Is there any compromise position that would allow some Federal appointees to the Authority, in your opinions?
    Mrs. MORELLA. I don't really have a problem if there could be something like that; but, obviously, the Review Board is deemed to be sort of a conflict of interest; and I would not want this to have to go through the courts again.
    Mr. DUNCAN. Well, I am not talking about another Federal—I am not talking about another Board of Review.
    What is your position, Mr. Moran?
    Mr. MORAN. Well, Mr. Chairman, I do think that there is a national interest served by National Airport and Dulles. It is appropriate to have a nationally oriented representation on the regional authority but, if that is done, I would hope we would have a balance with representation of the citizens who are most directly impacted by the operation, particularly at National.
    You know—it is very difficult to live in Old Town Alexandria and many parts of Connie's district and in the summer months you can't go outside because of airport noise. And, invariably, they are still violating the curfew and violating the flight paths so that is a legitimate interest that the residents of the area have.
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    If you were to add to the representation on the regional authority I would hope you would do it so in a balanced way—if there is a representative of the Congress, for example, the legislative branch. I would hope we would have more representation as well of the people directly impacted that live in the residential areas around National.
    Mrs. MORELLA. You know, Mr. Chairman, when you think about—since you asked such a good question: How does Congress get involved? Just like how Congress gets involved in all of the—all of the airports, quite frankly. We have legislation we can pass, and in the Science Committee we are looking at noise abatement technologies that we are moving ahead that we are going to effect all the airports. So we have that role always when we are administering airports.
    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Oberstar.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Connie, your bill is the same as the one you introduced a couple of years ago. We had some discussion about it at the hearing at that time. Six members would be local elected officials, two would be selected by the Virginia State legislature.
    Mrs. MORELLA. Actually, Congressman Oberstar, they would be—the proposal would be they would be appointed. They don't have to be elected themselves, but they would be appointed by elected members.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Locally elected officials.
    Mrs. MORELLA. Yes, right—Governor of Virginia, D.C. Mayor, Governor of Maryland.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. But they would not have the same powers that the board today has.
    Mrs. MORELLA. Yes, they would.
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. They would have the same powers?
    Mrs. MORELLA. They would be the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, but they would—
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Would they have the same veto authority that the board today has?
    Mrs. MORELLA. Yes.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Well, how would they act differently than the existing board?
    Mrs. MORELLA. It would be the composition, really, that would bring the elected officials in a position where they can make the appointments of the people that they deem would best represent the area in a variety of ways. I am not talking about just one reason or one issue.
    So you have got your Governor of Maryland. You are giving more representation to the elected people in Virginia by virtue of location of the two airports.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. You are substituting a locally elected group of people for a nationally elected group of people.
    Mrs. MORELLA. Well, the locally elected will be the ones appointing.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Right. But you—as I read your bill, it is local elected officials who would be appointed to the board, right?
    Mrs. MORELLA. No. The board would be citizens who are appointed. They don't have to be elected. But the people who do the appointing would be the elected people.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. All right.
    Mrs. MORELLA. I am sorry if I am not making it clear. They don't have to be elected to anything. They are appointed, but they are appointed by elected people who are responsive to their citizens.
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. You are substituting a local Board of Review for a Board of Review that would have a national perspective.
    Mrs. MORELLA. They would be from the region. They would be from the region. They have to, constitutionally.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. If we are going to do away with the Board of Review, then we do away with the Board of Review.
    Mrs. MORELLA. How would you set it up then?
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Don't have one. I could not support anything that would substitute one kind of authority for another, that would simply substitute for a national perspective a purely local perspective. That would not advance the cause of National or Dulles Airports.
    Mrs. MORELLA. What we are doing—because of the court decision, we are abolishing the Congressional Review Board. We are still continuing with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority because you have to have these decisions made with the kind of—
    Mr. OBERSTAR. These were national assets in the beginning. And Mr. Brown made a comment that we ought to treat National and Dulles as any other airport in America. Boy, we sure aren't. The Authority has got these two airports at a bargain basement price; and if they were treated like any other airport you would be paying one heck of a lot of money to acquire those airports.
    So I don't accept that viewpoint. I, frankly, would rather have oversight conducted by this committee and by the Department of Transportation even if we need to stick a rod of steel in their back and make them do what they are supposed to do. But, given the unique character of these two airports, I would not support any initiative that substitutes a local perspective for a national perspective.
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    Mrs. MORELLA. The dilemma is the fact that the Supreme Court says that you cannot have a Congressional Review Committee, and that was really the reason for the legislation.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. But this committee can conduct its oversight.
    Mrs. MORELLA. But you also have—in your current Metropolitan Washington Board you do have local people. What I am saying in this legislation, if you want to—obviously, you do what you want, but my point is this simply gives more authority to the Governors, the Mayor and the legislatures to say, you know—
    Mr. OBERSTAR. If they want to buy the airports, they can go ahead and have all the authority in the world, but these are national assets, and I don't think we turn national assets over in that fashion.
    How would you feel about abolishing the perimeter rule?
    Mrs. MORELLA. No, I would not. I am not in favor of that.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Only a national perspective is going to protect you from that.
    No further questions, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much Mr. Oberstar.
    Mr. Shuster.
    Mr. SHUSTER. I have no questions. I very much appreciate their testimony, and they have given me lots of food for thought.
    Mr. DUNCAN. Well, thank you very much.
    Mr. Mineta, do you have any questions?
    Mr. MINETA. Thank you very much. Let me just very quickly ask Mrs. Morella—how you feel about the perimeter rule? Do you have any thoughts on the perimeter?
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    Mrs. MORELLA. I do favor it.
    Mr. MINETA. You do favor retaining the perimeter rule that exists right now?
    Mrs. MORELLA. Yes.
    Mr. MINETA. Also, let me just ask about the regional nature of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority. When the whole transfer legislations were being crafted, all of us were concerned about the regional, I guess, operating authority of these airports. We wanted to make sure that they were regional, not dominated by any one of the three jurisdictions that would be involved as part of the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority. Is it still your view that, whatever we do here, that we still need to make sure that no one jurisdiction dominates this regional authority?
    Mrs. MORELLA. The authority currently is regional, as you have said, and I wanted to reiterate that. It has to be from the Washington statistical area, so it is regional right now. You can't say you have got national figuring. My feeling—the board would continue to be regional, as it should be, but we would give the authority to the various jurisdictions.
    And, yes, you are correct. In my bill, as there is now, there is more authority given to Virginia.
    For instance, now on the current board the Governor of Virginia has five appointees. Under my proposal, the Governor of Virginia would have one. The D.C. Mayor currently has three, under my proposal would have one. The Governor of Maryland now has two, would have one. The President of the United States has one and would not have any under the newly constituted board if passed.
    The Virginia legislature would have two. The Virginia board of COG, Council of Governments, would have two. The Maryland Council of Governments would have two. And the D.C. board members of the Council of Governments would have two.
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    So, therefore, we have got—let's take Virginia. They have two more than the other jurisdictions. You have 11 now. You would still have 11. So, yes, a little more—two more people from Virginia. And that is by virtue of the geography of the airport and is currently the case, too.
    Mr. MINETA. You don't feel that would give dominance to one jurisdiction?
    Mrs. MORELLA. Sir, it is already there. The current board now has that percentage.
    Mr. MINETA. I have not figured out mathematically, but is that the same percentages the 5, 3, 2, 1, as the board is constituted right now.
    Mrs. MORELLA. In terms of Virginia, right. The thing is, we have pulled in COG to make some appointments and we have taken the President out. But other than that, the same proportion, Virginia, Maryland, District.
    Mr. MINETA. And how do we make sure that, let's say, the national interest is looked at through that mechanism that you propose? It will take care of the regional and the local concerns of how the two airports are operated. But what about the national concerns?
    Mrs. MORELLA. How about other airports, too? Is there anything unique? I mean, do they also have that national perspective that we, alluded to in other airports?
    Mr. MINETA. Because of the fact that these are specifically from the Virginia State Legislature, as I recall, and you mentioned the Virginia Council of Governments—
    Mrs. MORELLA. The whole district Regional Council of Governments has representatives from D.C., Maryland, Virginia.
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    Mr. MINETA. Is there here in this area, let's say, the Virginia Council of Governments or the D.C. Council of Governments?
    Mrs. MORELLA. There is one Regional Council of Governments, but the appointments come from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. You are going to have several people testifying from the D.C. Council of Governments.

    Mr. MINETA. When you referred to the Maryland Council of Governments and there would be two people from there, who would appoint those two?

    Mrs. MORELLA. They would be appointed by the Council of Governments. They are elected people who are appointed to the Council. There is someone who was elected to the Council from Montgomery County Maryland, but she was then appointed to the Council of Governments, so they would do the appointing.

    Mr. MINETA. Is there a coordinating body of the Virginia Council of Governments, Maryland Council of Governments and the D.C. Council of Governments?

    Mrs. MORELLA. Yes, there is there is one Council of Governments that includes all three.

    Mr. MINETA. That includes all three?

    Mrs. MORELLA. Right.

    Mr. MINETA. And so that Regional Council of Governments has its membership fed from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland councils?
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    Mrs. MORELLA. Other elected people; right.

    Mr. MINETA. Thank you very, very much.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you, Mr. Mineta.

    We are pleased to have with us also as a distinguished member of this subcommittee, the Chairman of the full Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and the former Ranking Member of this subcommittee, Mr. Clinger.

    Mr. CLINGER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And I thank the panelists for appearing today.

    I just have a comment, no real questions. I think the main purpose for the Commission was to ensure that the national interests were taken into account in the development. And I would agree with Mr. Oberstar, if the Commission can no longer serve that purpose, then I don't see the point of having another Commission to replace it with.

    As Mr. Mineta said, it would tend to skew it more towards the local thing. I think this is a unique situation in this area. It does have broader contexts and they are very real, noise concerns. And I live in Old Town, so I am very familiar with the problem in the summertime.
    In my view, since we have been sort of climbing up the Hill three times and been shot down by the Supreme Court three times in terms of trying to ensure that the national interest is protected through this Commission, there still is a need to ensure that the national interest is taken into account. And I think we can do that through the existing authority. Perhaps, by augmenting the existing authority or in some other way dealing with that.
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    But I am a little reluctant to just keep that same extra layer of authority there with a Commission that would be pretty heavily skewed toward a much more local perspective.

    Mrs. MORELLA. I would agree that all of these people would have a national perspective, but right now, the board has five people appointed by the Governor of Virginia, it has three people appointed by the Mayor. It has two people appointed by the Governor of Maryland, and one by the President. So all we are doing is the same kind of thing, only letting—it comes out to the same number, more appointments come from this Council of Governments that cares about the national interest as well as the local. So really, you already have a governing board that has a national perspective. And if you pass that bill, you would be putting in another one with a national perspective, because it has to be from the regional area anyway. The statistical regional area.

    Mr. CLINGER. Well, I think our challenge here is to balance the interests. The local interests, obviously, have to be taken into account. And we have gone through some very bloody hearings over those issues. But I think there is a unique factor to these two airports that does require us to have the national interests represented.

    Thank you.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    We need to get on, I guess, to the second panelist.
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    Does anyone else have any questions?

    All right, Mr. Ehlers.

    Mr. EHLERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will try to be brief.

    But I am just—as a newcomer here, I am trying to clarify what the problem is. I understand the Supreme Court decisions and that part of the problem, but I am curious about the local concerns. Is it primarily the noise that is a concern locally? What are the factors?

    Mr. MORAN. It will be all of the above, that you can imagine you would get from an airport. Traffic is a particular concebn and, under my proposal would have one. The Governor of Maryland now has two, would have one. The President of the United States has one and would not have any under the newly constituted board if passed.
    The Virginia legislature would have two. The Virginia board of COG, Council of Governments, would have two. The Maryland Council of Governments would have two. And the D.C. board members of the Council of Governments would have two.
    So, therefore, we have got—let's take Virginia. They have two more than the other jurisdictions. You have 11 now. You would still have 11. So, yes, a little more—two more people from Virginia. And that is by virtue of the geography of the airport and is currently the case, too.
    Mr. MINETA. You don't feel that would give dominance to one jurisdiction?
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    Mrs. MORELLA. Sir, it is already there. The current board now has that percentage.
    Mr. MINETA. I have not figured out mathematically, but is that the same percentages the 5, 3, 2, 1, as the board is constituted right now.
    Mrs. MORELLA. In terms of Virginia, right. The thing is, we have pulled in COG to make some appointments and we have taken the President out. But other than that, the same proportion, Virginia, Maryland, District.
    Mr. MINETA. And how do we make sure that, let's say, the national interest is loove you.

    Mr. EHLERS. Nonvoting.

    Mr. MORAN. I figured that might be the case.

    Mr. EHLERS. I have some experience with this, because I served on a county commission and I was chair of that, which meant that I met with the Aeronautics Board. We owned and operated the airport.

    It intrigued me the number of people that moved out by the airport and then complained about the noise. I have sympathy for the residents of Old Town, at least those who lived there before the airport was there. But I was amazed at the growth of apartment buildings and other residences basically in the flight path and I have no sympathy for the owners of those or the local officials who allowed them to be built there or the people who have chosen to live there. I don't think they can move in there and then complain after they moved in about the noise. I have had to deal with this problem for years.
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    I am sympathetic to those who are imposed on and are long-time residents. I am surprised about deviations from flight paths. Since I used to fly, I enjoy watching the airplanes. I don't see that many deviations from the flight path in Arlington where I live.

    And as far as noise is concerned, and curfew violations, again, I see very few curfew violations and very few takeoffs. In fact, I have not seen any after 10:00 p.m. where I live. A lot of landings, but those are relatively quiet.

    In my experience—one last observation, the issue is not so much deviations from flight path or—let me put it this way, in my experience, the real noise problem has to do with the older airplanes, the 727s in particular. I can tell immediately when one is flying over as compared to the Airbus or the 757. And maybe that might be a restriction that would be worth considering. That is a problem that will take care of itself in 10 years or less, but that could address the noise problem.

    But I am just not convinced, Mr. Chairman, that the problem is as bad as it is presented to be, other than as I say, people have moved in. It is a high-density area, but they move there by choice. And I think we can address the board issue, but I am hesitant about getting into a situation where we are restricting flights because of noise problems.

    Thank you.

    Mrs. MORELLA. Mr. Chairman, could I just mention that one of the problems has been violation of the slot rules. The slot rules that you are all so familiar with. And I got a log every month of the flights, every single day, every hour, and I am appalled at the fact that there is object enforcement or implementation of that slot rule which says so many flights per hour. And even though we have complained, nothing has been done. That is another thing that a board would have more authority in enforcing.
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    Mr. DUNCAN. Well thank you very much, Mr. Moran, and Ms. Morella and Mr. Brown. We have got other witnesses. We have to move on. So thank you, but thank you very much for this very fine addition to our hearing.

    And we will now go to the second panel, which is Congressman Frank Wolf from Virginia. He is an outstanding Member of the House and a leader in this northern Virginia area.

    And so Mr. Wolf, thank you very much for coming here today. And you may proceed with your testimony.

    I mentioned to the others we are trying to limit the statements to five minutes because we do have a number of other witnesses to hear from, so if you could come close to that, we would appreciate it.


    Mr. WOLF. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    The first bill that I introduced when I was elected to Congress was to transfer Dulles Airport over. My concern is the abolishment of the Congressional Review Panel. This subcommittee already exercises wide-ranging oversight for the Federal Aviation Administration, the national airspace, and all airports nationwide. So one must ask what in the world is another congressional panel doing in the business of running two airports, National and Dulles? No other airports in the Nation bow to such congressional advice or panels like this.
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    Before I review how we arrived here, let me admit to very strong feelings about this subject. I won't go into it, but the courts have ruled over and over and over that this is unconstitutional. Keep in mind that MWAA, not only has to accommodate this additional congressional meddling, but the authority also has to pay for it. The airport users pay for it. Passengers, which not only include many of my constituents but yours, pay for this.

    The cost of these appeals were a million and a half dollars, and I was told just the other day that the committee had the counsel back up, whereby MWAA was paying for the billable hours that this law firm is billing MWAA and the people for this.

    It is interesting to note, Mr. Chairman, that of the nine members of the Board of Review, five are no longer even current Members of Congress. All are from elsewhere in the Nation. Some are registered lobbyists. Some are good friends of mine. But there is no right for them to be on this Congressional Advisory Panel. One is under indictment.

    I do not offer this profile to cast aspersions on anyone's profession or to judge good anyone's guilt or innocence, but pray tell me, and tell the citizens that I represent, why are people like this telling us how to represent and run our affairs?

    As you know, the board has been reviewed, and held unconstitutional. It isn't over yet when you look at the legal fees. The Board of Review retains its own office and staff at the authority headquarters located across the river in Alexandria, Virginia.

    The authority estimates it costs about $175,000 annually for the operation of the Board of Review. But this figure does not begin to quantify the time consumed in being responsive to these congressional advisory people.
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    For example, at one of the Review Board's monthly meetings held at the Monocle Restaurant on Capitol Hill, only three members of the Review Board were present, the Chairman and two others who have left Congress and are now registered lobbyists. But how many MWAA representatives do you suppose were on hand to answer questions?

    Take a look at the minutes.

    I would urge the committee, if you have the time, take a look at the minutes; eight MWAA staffers were present. And this contingency included several of the authority's top executives. The time of these airport managers is valuable and several of them have to drop what they are doing once a month, or at any time, on a moment's notice, for that matter, and come running to the Congressional Review Board.

    There is a price tag attached to it. And although they will never say it and they would never come to admit it, I am sure these airport officials would rather be spending their time doing what they do best, which is running airports. And they do that very well, I might add. This region has been well-served by the people.

    And the Chairman and Mr. Clinger raised a very, very good question. And I think Mr. Oberstar did, too. This committee has oversight over this. And we have that national representation on the board. Not the Congressional Review Board but on the Board of Directors. Former Congressman Jack Edwards, who served admirably here was an outstanding person, served on the Board of Directors for many, many years and was a very valuable member of that board. And it is very appropriate for people like that to serve on the Airport Authority. Board of Directors, but not on the Congressional Review Board.
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    I would also urge the committee, and I have a letter that I sent to Jim Wilding, and I will submit it to the record, asking for the appropriations. How much money is spent? What is the salary for? What are the meetings for? How much is spent on travel?

    My number one goal is the Congressional Review Board ought to go because the people of this region have done a good job. And the people that have served on the Airport Authority have done a good job. The Supreme Court has ruled over and over and over that it is unnecessary.

    And I would hope that there would not be the attempt by this committee to mask some sort of advisory group, because it is now costing the taxpayers and your constituents, the people from your district, a million and a half dollars for the appeal. And this has gone to one law firm who has made all this money, appealing something that over and over people knew was unconstitutional.

    And I will end by saying one other comment, because it was raised by others. I am aware that some may view the need to fix the Board of Review as an opportunity to address other issues which would address the status of National Airport. I want to go on record as being opposed to any legislative add-ons. I don't represent National Airport anymore, but that was a commitment made to the people that this would be the way it would be.

    And I would urge this committee to examine, if you do change the perimeter rules and if you were ever to change the slot rules, what that would mean is you would lose flights from Tennessee, and North Carolina and close-in regions, whereby the flights would then go to the West Coast or places like that, and then we would lose some of the balance that we now have at National Airport. So I would hope that they would not be changed.
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    Mr. Chairman, I hope I have held within my time, and in summary, please don't give us another Congressional Review Board. We just don't need one. The money has been, I think, wastefully spent.

    And second, don't change the perimeters and don't change the slots. A commitment was made to the people of this region. They have been faithful stewards and have not done anything to upset this region.

    And lastly, I say Mr. Oberstar is exactly right. My staff said this committee has the jurisdiction to look into this area. And if there is anything, this committee is the responsible place, not some congressional advisory panel when, frankly, we are not sure exactly what they do and the meetings are closed and we don't know what is going on.

    [Mr. Wolf's prepared statement follows:]

    [Insert here.]

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much, Congressman Wolf.

    I will ask you what I asked the others. Is there any middle ground or compromise position possibly with the Congress and/or the President appointing additional members to the Authority?

    Mr. WOLF. I think that is a good question, and I think the answer is yes. I think with the quality that Jack Edwards gave to this panel, and you can ask Mr. Wilding when he testifies, another individual like that, I think would add dignity and character to it.
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    Jack was a faithful attendee at these meetings. He took it on as a steward. It was a responsibility. They were floating bonds. Not a casual walk in and walk out.

    If this committee saw fit that another national figure like jack Edwards wanted to serve, I think that would be very, very appropriate.

    But overall, I think the Airport Authority has done a good job. And we set up the legislation. We set up that most of the people would come from the statistical metropolitan reporting area, and we also put that they would not be elected officials. That they would be men and women of character and dignity, not that you can't be both, but that would not be subject to—but would not be subject to a lot of pressure but would do the right thing.

    If you were to put a representative like that on, it may very well be appropriate to put a consumer representative on to also speak, but I think there is a middle ground, but no congressional review.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Oberstar, for one brief comment.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. We are going to need you to watch over the appropriations bills coming back from the Senate in light of testimony that we heard today to watch out for stuff that they may bury in an appropriation bill that will deal with this matter of National and Dulles Airport.

    Mr. WOLF. I will watch it carefully.
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    Mr. MINETA. Quickly.

    Thank you, Mr. Wolf, for your testimony. There is one thing I wanted to ask about. You mentioned that ''I represent citizens who reside in this area and are tired of this congressional meddling.'' I am wondering if you could cite me what this congressional meddling is?

    Mr. WOLF. Many times, Mr. Mineta, if you would go back—and I urge the committee to look at the minutes and read the minutes carefully. Once you read the minutes, you will see what the meddling is.

    And second, there was once a request to open up the Dulles Access Road for carpools only until the Governor, a Democratic Governor at that time, would finish adding the additional lane. That was approved by the Airport Authority. There were public hearings. They would never open the road forever, just for that brief time. The Congressional Review Board said no.

    And there has been intimidation. The authority has been intimidated. They have been intimidated by the Congress, the Congressional Review Panel. So many things they wanted to do, they didn't feel free to do and, frankly, they have not felt free to speak out.

    Mr. MINETA. What intimidation are you speaking about?

    Mr. WOLF. I think you should read some of the minutes.

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    Mr. MINETA. I was at all of the meetings. Are there any other instances of congressional meddling, other than the one time we overturned the decision of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority?

    Mr. WOLF. Yes, in one of the minutes, it even got down to what kind of coffee shop they were going to have or whether or not the gates were open, yes.

    Mr. MINETA. Those were discussions that were held. But in terms of the actions that the Board of Directors of the MWAA has taken, has there been any other action where the Board of Review has overturned the decision of the Board of Directors of the MWAA?

    Mr. WOLF. Mr. Mineta, these are very intelligent people, and they read the newspapers, and they understand what is taking place and they understand what they can do and what they cannot do. They have done an outstanding job and do not need a Congressional Advisory Panel to tell them what they can or cannot do. There can be a middle ground, whereby if there are appropriate people, fine. But if you do that, you might want to have a consumer representative.

    Mr. DUNCAN. We have to go vote.

    Thank you very much Congressman Wolf.


    Mr. DUNCAN. Welcome to panel No. 3, and that includes Mr. Robert Tardio, James Wilding.
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    And, Congressman Coughlin, we are pleased to have you with us.

    Gentlemen, you may proceed with your testimony.


    Mr. TARDIO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    As I said, I am Bob Tardio, Chairman of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and Jim Wilding the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer is here with me.

    Let me thank you at the outset, Mr. Chairman, for your extraordinarily prompt action to schedule a hearing and a markup session on short notice, that will enable a timely statutory resolution to our problem.

    In many respects, this hearing is a rerun of one held before this very committee in 1991. The Chairman of this subcommittee, the name of the full committee, and one of the authority witnesses addressing you have changed, but the issue is the same.

    Once again, the Federal courts have found the oversight procedures the Congress established to review our activities are unconstitutional, and once again, because of the terms of the Airports Act, we must ask to you amend that Act to ensure continued smooth operation of Washington National and Washington Dulles International Airports.
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    With the Court of Appeals decision taking effect March 31st, the ability of the Airports Authority to act will be seriously restricted, leading ultimately to the slow down or halt of our development program. I don't wish to belabor the point that we are repeating ourselves, but I must point out that we are also asking you for exactly the same thing we sought in 1991, a legislative solution that is constitutional beyond doubt, and that will not interfere in the timely and orderly conduct of our business.

    I will omit the brief history included in my prepared statement. The Congress authorized the lease of Dulles and National in 1986, and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority took them over in 1987. Since then, as we promised, we have undertaken a massive $2 billion improvement program at both airports.

    We have been overseen from the beginning by a Board of Review currently made up of five members and former Members of Congress, three Senators and a former Secretary of Transportation. Since the Congress restructured it in response to a 1991 Supreme Court decision, the Board of Review has met seven times. In that period, it has not taken issue with any decision of the Board of Directors, nor has it made any recommendations to the authority.

    Relations between members of the authority have been cordial and mutually supportive. The Board of Review, as I understand it, originated with the concern of many Members of Congress that local control of the airports could result in decisions that favored local political interests over the interests of all airport users.

    From our perspective, I believe we have shown over time that this is not the case, and an independent Airports Authority with an independent board of directors serves the national interests as well as the local interests.
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    But the Board of Review is not meant to serve the Authority. It is a body designed by the Congress to protect national interests that Congress believes should be protected. Therefore, the decision whether to continue is yours.

    We testified in 1991, and repeat again today, that from our perspective, a Board of Review is unnecessary, and given the legal restraints imposed by the courts, we doubt that Congress could fashion a lawful Board of Review that would serve a meaningful purpose. However, if the Congress believes that some review mechanism remains important, we would be prepared to work you with in developing it. Whatever type of oversight may be called for by a special committee or by a standing committee of the Congress, please make sure that the oversight body and its procedures are constitutional beyond question.

    If such an agreement on constitutionality cannot be reached, as an alternative, you should repeal the so-called nonseverability provision that has twice hobbled the Authority when the Board of Review issue was lost in the courts. A normal severability clause would allow the authority to continue without a Board of Review in the event of further litigation.

    If oversight is required, please give us a scheme that does not interfere unduly with operations. A possible feature in several of the proposed constitutional alternatives is a report and wait period of 30 or 60 days. We are happy to report, but we should not have to wait. If the wait device is retained, I urge you to shorten the list of actions that must be submitted for review.

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    I would also like to comment on three provisions in some other bills to address the Board of Review question. As to measures that will prohibit the Authority from offering free parking to Members of Congress, other government officials or diplomats, our position remain what is it has always been: we will honor the tradition of providing reserved spaces and free parking until the Congress tells us otherwise. If the Congress wishes to end the tradition, we will not have any trouble complying.

    Other measures would allow for appointment to the Board of Directors, elected officials and provide for COG participation in the appointments process. We do not believe that such a measure is necessary or appropriate. The makeup of the Authority's Board of Directors was set in Virginia and D.C. law before the Congress authorized the transfer. Any changes in the appointments process should be initiated by those jurisdictions.

    A third measure would repeal the perimeter rule, a Federal statute that limited nonstop flights to and from National Airport to 1,250 miles. Authority has significant reservations about this provision. There is a statutory limit on the number of daily flights at National Airport. All of the hourly slots available there are used. Thus, if the perimeter rule is repealed and a nonstop flight to, say, Phoenix or Denver is added to National, a flight to somewhere else within the perimeter must be canceled.

    In addition, nonstop flights from National to the West Coast would seriously undercut traffic demand at Dulles. Our analysis is that virtually all transcontinental flights at Dulles would be discontinued and if the transcontinental feeds were reduced at Dulles, the extensive Transatlantic service at Dulles would be difficult to support. Because we are concerned that repeal of the perimeter rule would cause serious service disruption without any benefits, we strongly urge that the rule be retained in its present form.
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    Mr. Chairman, that concludes my prepared statement.

    Mr. Wilding and I would be happy to answer any questions that you or other Members of the committee might have.

    Thank you, sir.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Tardio.

    Mr. Wilding, we will hear from you. Welcome to the hearing today.

    Mr. WILDING. Yes, sir, I don't have any additional statement, but I would like to emphasize, if I could, our very strong need for a solution that is workable and is overwhelmingly lawful.

    Thank you.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Well, thank you very much.

    Mr. Tardio, I heard, I believe, Senator McCain referred to the fact that Dulles at one time was referred to as a white elephant by some people. And business has been going up, and we now have a very busy airport there.

    How important is it, in your opinion, that the Dulles Access Road be limited only to customers or vehicles bound for the airport?
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    Mr. TARDIO. Mr. Chairman, I think it is supremely important that the integrity of that road not be violated at any time, for any reason. As I have told Senator McCain on two occasions, I have traveled extensively to airports in Europe. I have traveled four times to the Far East and have met with the people who run the airports throughout the Far East, and one of the things that they impress on us when they come here is the access from an airport that is relatively suburban to the urban area without interference of local traffic. That is the major selling point for Dulles.

    Mr. DUNCAN. You heard me ask earlier witnesses, there is no question that the Board of Review has been ruled unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has refused to hear that case now and that decision will stand.

    Is there some type of middle ground, because of the fact that these airports were built with Federal money and are on Federal property, and so forth, do you think that it would be possible or it would be a solution to add some members to the authority appointed either by the President or the Congress or a combination thereof?

    Mr. TARDIO. Mr. Chairman, I don't think the addition of people changes the responsibility and accountability that 11 people presently appointed have to the various constituencies that we serve, and I believe have served well. I would agree with Congressman Oberstar that this committee has oversight on any activities of this airport and others in the aviation business.

    For as long as my term continues as Chairman, I would be pleased to meet with your committee or Members of your committee monthly, if you chose, quarterly, if you chose, or whatever frequency, to bring you and the other Members of your committee up-to-date, up-to-speed on anything and everything we are doing.
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    Mr. DUNCAN. All right.

    Thank you very much, Mr. Oberstar.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I will borrow your microphone here. It is easier.

    Under the 1990 law that we passed where we tried to walk a very fine line here and we thought what we did was constitutional, there were eight types of issues that the Board of Directors would have to submit to the Board of Review. And they could not take effect for 30 days unless the Board of Review acted earlier. Were there decisions that had to run the full 30 days?

    Mr. TARDIO. At certain times. Congressman, what some of those rules do to us, if you will—and I must say that the Chairman of the—former Chairman or the Chairman of the Review Board, and I have a personal relationship and we are able to talk out situations—what is does is it backs us up in certain instances. When we know that Congress has a 30-day or 60-day period to review the budget, we start processes earlier than one might normally in the fiscal year because of the reporting time line, sir.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. It was alleged in earlier testimony that just the matter of review was an intrusion into the board's authority and responsibilities and that just the fact that a question could be raised about one type of activity or another constituted an intrusion into the board's actions, and that the Board of Review questioning about one or another function caused delays and was an intrusion. Is that your feeling?
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    Mr. TARDIO. Sir, in my 6 years on the board, I don't believe any action by the Review Board was an intrusion, nor I don't believe that I was ever intimidated by any member of that Review Board.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. We have heard from citizen groups about noise, and that will always be a point of contention around any airport. And no matter what level of noise reduction we achieve with the new and ever-improving technology, as long as people can see the aircraft, they are going to allege noise.

    We have had calls over the years to our subcommittee from people way up in New Jersey saying I can hear those aircraft, and we question them and we find out it is a D.C. 10 high in the sky, and we know darn well not within earshot, but because they could see it, they could hear it.

    But generally, are aircraft complying with the noise abatement rule?

    Mr. TARDIO. The answer to your question generally is yes. I might also point out, since it was not discussed by anybody in any testimony today, that this Airport's Authority Board, on its own initiative, has accelerated the FAA-mandated conversion from stage-2 aircraft to the quieter stage-3 aircraft by 2 years. We have one of the highest percentages in the country right now of stage-3 aircraft flying into the airport.

    We work with and talk with all of the airlines that serve both of our airports, but particularly, at National, and we will accomplish a full stage-3 program at National, in all probability, about 2 years before the national program.
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. I know that when aircraft follow the down-river routes, pilots have an extraordinary responsibility and even with global positioning satellite control of the aircraft, they still have to make seven turns as they follow the down-river route to approach National. And anybody who bought a home along that river knew very well what they were getting into. You could not be—you could not be alive and well and not know that you were buying a home in the path that aircraft are going to follow.

    I have towns in my district that would be delighted to have a little aircraft noise, because it means jobs, growth, economic opportunity. Too much is not good, but I know that Northwest, for example, flies their quietest aircraft at those most important hours.

    Mr. WILDING. Perhaps, I could get a word in on that, too. There is some confusion about our nighttime arrangement. We don't have a curfew. We have noise levels that kick in at 10 p.m., and if an aircraft can make those noise levels, it is welcome all night long, until 7 o'clock in the morning, when we go back to normal. We have had very, very few violations of that. Less than one a month.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. We have had some discussion about the perimeter rule. If the oversight board were removed, and there were no legislation on the perimeter rule, would the airport impose its own perimeter rule?

    Mr. TARDIO. In all probability, we would address that——

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    Mr. OBERSTAR. If the existing law were repealed, would the airport impose its own perimeter rule?

    Mr. TARDIO. In all probability, the answer to that is yes. As you all know, La Guardia Airport has a perimeter rule and the New York Port Authority that governs that airport has imposed its own perimeter rule and that has been upheld in the courts.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. I will have another question later. My five minutes is up.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much Mr. Oberstar.

    Mr. Mineta?

    Mr. MINETA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me, first of all, thank the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority staff, as well as the Board of Directors staff for your conscientious work. As I indicated earlier, you folks really do an outstanding job.

    I also want to commend my fine colleagues Larry Coughlin and John Paul Hammerschmidt. They are very attentive to the meetings of the Board of Review. They even take time—Larry does, to go to the Board of Directors meetings. And I know that has been very helpful to those of us on the Board of Review, and I hope that it has been helpful to the members of the Board of Directors of the Authority.

    But I do want to, again, go back to Congressman Frank Wolf's testimony and talking about congressional meddling, he goes on to say daily airport operations must be pried loose from congressional interference.
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    Mr. Wilding or Chairman Tardio, I am wondering, Chairman Tardio, you have already indicated that you don't—you say that there has not been congressional meddling or intimidation of the Airport Authority. But Mr. Wilding, let me ask you this: ''Daily airport operations must be pried loose from congressional interference,'' can you cite any examples of this kind of daily airport operation being interfered by——

    Mr. WILDING. Can I cite? No, sir.

    Mr. MINETA. Are you intimidated by Mr. Wolf's—or rather, intimidated by being before this committee in answering that question?

    Mr. WILDING. No, sir.

    Mr. MINETA. Mr. Tardio, do have you any examples of congressional meddling or this kind of congressional interference in terms of airport operations?

    Mr. TARDIO. I absolutely do not, sir.

    Mr. MINETA. And I assume except for that one time where we did reverse the Board of Directors's action on the airport access road, that there has not been any other instance of what you might refer to as—if that could even be defined as congressional meddling—that there would not be any other instance of a Board of Review decision any different than let's say the—to overturn an action of the Board of Directors.

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    Mr. TARDIO. I believe that is a correct statement.

    Mr. MINETA. In fact, as I recall, with your help, Mr. Tardio, did we not accommodate a private toll road corporation to get an extension to Leesburg?

    Mr. TARDIO. That is correct. I think we were very patient in their effort to get that project underway and we have, in fact, a long-term lease of some of our real estate to that toll road authority.

    Mr. MINETA. So again, I want to thank you for your part in that and the availability of that, as you say. We did put off action for a long time in order to accommodate the toll road authority.

    Just a little while ago, Mr. Wilding, you talked about less than one violation per month as it relates to the stage-3 aircraft noise rule; is that correct?

    Mr. WILDING. It is really stage-3 plus. We are tougher than stage-3 at night. It is a tailored piece of noise restrictions that are related to the closest residences to Washington National, and then working backwards, what level of noise should an aircraft make to be sure to hold the level down to the nearest residences, and that is a lot tougher than stage-3.

    Mr. MINETA. That is applicable only to airlines?

    Mr. WILDING. No, sir, it is applicable to all airplanes.
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    Mr. MINETA. So a corporate jet would be subject to the same stage-3 plus rules?

    Mr. WILDING. Same rules. Yes, sir.

    Mr. MINETA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    I want to thank all of you for your service and work there at the MWAA.

    And Larry, your work on the Board of Review.

    Mr. COUGHLIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Just let me say for the record that service on the Board of Review is strictly a pro bono operation in an attempt to serve the public.

    Mr. MINETA. Absolutely.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Tardio, I have always believed that all governmental decisions, as much as possible, should be put as close to the people as possible, and that locally where possible. And certainly, we want to accommodate local interests here.

    On the other hand, I am wondering, do you agree with Mr. Clinger's statement earlier that these two airports do have sort of a unique status in that they—in that there is a national interest in these two airports?
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    Mr. TARDIO. I agree with his statement, but I would also point out that the present composition of the board, I think, serves that purpose. The intent here was to have locally appointed people.

    I was appointed by the Governor of Maryland. Neither airport is in the State of Maryland. Five appointed by the Governor of Virginia, three by the mayor, and one by the President of United States. And the reasoning for that appointment—and that party may not reside in Maryland, the District, or the Commonwealth and must reside somewhere else in the United States. And I think that the local interests are served by those of us appointed from the various political jurisdictions in the area.

    In addition to that, our board of its own volition created a Regional Advisory Board with members to that Advisory Board appointed by the governors of the surrounding States and the District of Columbia and serve as an advisory board to our appointed board.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Is it true that the number of slots at National has gone down by some number? Are you familiar with that?

    Mr. WILDING. No, sir, that is not true. While over the years—there are basically 60 slots an hour. There was a change in definition at one point between what an air carrier had to be and what a commuter was, and the numbers were changed accordingly so that there are today 37 air carrier slots per hour permitted and that number was cast into our Federal legislation and remains the same today and are fully subscribed.

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    Mr. DUNCAN. But there was 40 in the late 1980s.

    Mr. WILDING. There was 40, but again, it was down to 37, and a few more added to the commuter pool when the definition of what a commuter airplane had to be and what an air carrier airplane had to be. The effect was the same; you just counted a little differently.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Do you all want to add any flights?

    Mr. TARDIO. No, sir.

    Mr. WILDING. No, sir.

    Mr. DUNCAN. All right.

    Mr. Oberstar.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Just one question. DOT is your landlord and in that capacity you are required to submit reports to DOT. Are those reports submitted on time? Have there been any follow-up questions by DOT on your conduct of the facilities as tenant?

    Mr. WILDING. Yes and yes. All the reports go in on time. There are, from time to time, questions from them. And frankly, many conversations that we precipitate ourselves, where there is some question in our own mind, under our lease. We bring them up and go see them and sit down and go talk about it and walk away with the benefit of their wisdom on the question. So there is some consultation.
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. Have they ever raised any questions about deviation from the terms of the lease? Have there been any deviations from the terms on the lease.

    Mr. WILDING. No, we don't think we have deviated, and as a matter of fact, each time we did early bond issues, we went and got a certification from them to give comfort to the financial community that we were abiding by all terms of the lease.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Has DOT a designated official to come and meet with the Authority and review your actions on a regular basis?

    Mr. WILDING. No, sir, we tend to deal with various parts of DOT, most often the General Counsel's Office.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Okay. Airlines, from time to time, express either privately or publicly, or maybe at social events grousing about the costs of the new terminal and what are we getting for it. Have they formally addressed concerns to the Authority about the cost of the terminal and have steps been taken to address those concerns?

    Mr. WILDING. I think back in history there a little ways, it was true. It was really a rip-roaring fuss there for a while, but we cut a lot of space and a lot of costs out of the terminal buildings. A lot of the space had gotten in there because maybe they were overly ambitious when they gave us their space requirements and everything has settled out nicely now.

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    They are pleased with it and are working constructively with us to fashion their spaces in it and that program is goings smooth as it could be right now, with cooperation with the airlines.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. The issue of terminal design is definitively resolved?

    Mr. WILDING. Yes, sir, at Washington National, we are well along with building it.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you for your response about actions in exchange with the DOT. But I would like you to submit for the record a listing of those interactions with DOT over the last 3 years.

    [The information follows:]

    [Insert here.]

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you.

    Mr. Mineta.

    Mr. MINETA. Very quickly, in response to the question about adding flights, you said adamantly, no. Suppose the airlines came to you and said we don't want to add more flights, but we think we could even make it quieter for you. Let us replace some 757s with 767s, get more seats per plane, and we would be able to still be in compliance with your noise rules during the outside the 10:00 to 7:00 a.m.—is it 6:00 or 7:00?
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    Mr. WILDING. Seven o'clock in the morning to 10:00 at night is the normal operating day.

    Mr. MINETA. So, let's say, they come with a plan to say so we would like to replace or use 767s as compared to 757s. Now is that an FAA rule that determines whether or not 767s can operate at National? Or is that something you can establish?

    Mr. WILDING. It would be an FAA call. There is no regulation or law on the books that keeps that kind of aircraft out of Washington National. And as you may recall, when we did our master planning and terminal designing for Washington National, we anticipated that at some point in the future, there may well be a 767-type of aircraft used there and did our terminal design accordingly. That caused a little fuss at the time as well. But it continues to be our anticipation that at some point in the future, hopefully, after the terminal is done and in operation and is all working well, that it will be.

    Mr. MINETA. So the rule at the time saying 767s would not operate at National still holds?

    Mr. WILDING. Well, he only reacted to a single airplane which was an A–300. He actually flew an Eastern A–300, flew it up and down the river a few times and decided it shouldn't be there. Wrote Eastern Airlines a letter saying, thanks, but no thanks, and it was narrowed to that one airplane.

    Mr. MINETA. I stand corrected.
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    In your testimony, you said it is not likely that the Board of Directors would approve another temporary action for the use of the Dulles Access Road. The thing I am concerned about, frankly, is that I get the feeling that the Commonwealth of Virginia is waiting for the Board of Review to go away so that it can deal with this issue through its five members on the Board of Directors. Any thoughts on that?

    Mr. TARDIO. Mr. Congressman, chairing a board is always interesting, particularly when there are 11 people and 5 happen to be from one jurisdiction and 6 to 5 would prevail. At the present time, in my conversations with the current members of the board, I believe I would have the support, the overwhelming support to protect the access road. How would that be a year from now, or 2 years from now, or 3 years from now, I really cannot speak to that possibility.

    Mr. MINETA. Well, my experience is that any time you deal with any given subject, the farther you get away from the original time a decision was made, the harder it is to adhere to the original understanding or people even remember the original understanding, or whatever. So I guess to that extent, let me ask, what kind of an educational process do new members to the board get to some of these issues that they will be facing?

    Mr. TARDIO. I can assure you that every public utterance I have made on behalf of the Authority, to my fellow directors, to any civic group or at any function, as well as domestically and internationally, I have strongly supported no interference, as I say, with the integrity of that road. I have a year and a half to go on that board. My term ends on November 30, 1996. I cannot be reappointed. But for as long as I am there, I will use all of the persuasive powers I have to protect that road.
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    Mr. MINETA. Okay.

    Thank you very much.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Mineta.

    And, gentlemen, thank you for your testimony and thank you for being with us.

    We will call now on panel No. 4, which will include John Hechinger, James Hunter, Betty Ann Krahnke.

    I will ask once again that each of you limit your prepared remarks to the five-minute time limit that the other witnesses have been kind enough to adhere to and any other—if you can't get your full statements in in that time, we will place them in the hearing record for today.

    And you may proceed in any order that you wish. Mr. Hechinger.

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    Mr. HECHINGER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Before I get started I would like to introduce Alan Morrison from the Public Citizen Litigation Group who, along with Patti Goldman, are attorneys in our case, Craig Baab, Esquire, who is a named plaintiff. And in CAAN you have heard from Al Brown. If Dennis O'Sullivan and Sherwin Landfield would stand representing the members of the CAAN organization that you heard from.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much.

    Mr. HECHINGER. Mr. Chairman and Members of the committee, especially my personal good friend Norman Mineta, I would—I am very pleased to be able to testify today.

    The Board of Review that was created by Congress has now been twice as it has been said many times found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Congress' attitude towards our airports is highlighted by the revealing statements of one of the Members of the House of Representatives in the Congressional Record in 1986 where Representative Smith said, the Board of Review is like getting our cake and eating it too.

    The beauty of the deal is that Congress retains control without spending a dime. The answer to that is enough is a enough. The gig is up. There is certainly a danger if another attempt is made to continue the Board of Review that it might be considered a contempt of court.

    Washington National and Dulles Airports are the only airports in the country that do not have self-rule and in fact when they were really designed what is the Federal interest, the matter of frequency of flight noise, pattern and perimeter are all the same problems that every airport in the country have.
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    After all, you must remember what Congressman Smith said, and that is the Federal Government does not expend a dime in the operation of our airports. The local Washington National Airport Authority is in total role reversal, total role reversal to anything. It even pays for the staff of the congressional Board of Review.

    Of immediate attention as has been brought out by several witnesses, Mr. Tardio just recently the so-called drop-dead provision has got to be lifted. I call attention to the March 31st deadline. Representative Morella has spoken on her bill and one portion of that bill which would be substantially increasing local control over the Airports Authority directly relates to the issues now before the committee. We strongly support the principle of local control embodied in the Morella bill but the executive officers of CAAN not only support it but see no other possibility.

    There are two things I would like to bring out as a possible solution. We endorse the passage of the Morella bill. In 1991, the Airports Authority created an advisory committee and that was mentioned in the testimony just a moment ago. There are two principle difficulties that have prevented the committee from being affected. First, it has no staff but must rely on the sufferance of the Airports Authority for any assistance or information that it receives. Second, because the advisory committee operates at the sufferance of the Airports Authority Board of Directors, the committee can be preemptively abolished or driven further into informational purgatory.

    Both of these problems can and should be alleviated through the passage of an amendment to the Airports Act making the advisory committee mandatory by the Congress and requiring that the Airports Authority provide funds for all staff and other expenses as it is now required to do to the Review Board.
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    We have one final suggestion regarding the advisory committee. Congress should provide or may provide four additional slots on the advisory committee to be filled by designee of the Speaker and Minority leadership of the House and the President pro tem and Minority Leader in the Senate. Those designees could but need not be Members of Congress. Both I and Mr. Morrison and Mr. Baab would be pleased to answer any questions that you have now or later in writing.

    Finally, a bit off the precise subject of this hearing, each witness was able to—required to furnish 100 copies of our testimony. Then it was increased to 150 copies. I believe this is in the category of unfunded mandate. And I suggest the witnesses should either be reimbursed or cut the number down to realism.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Hechinger.

    Mr. Hunter.

    Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Members of the subcommittee and Mr. Mineta. My name is Jim Hunter. I am here to speak for the Arlington County Board. We in Arlington take a special interest in National Airport. After all, we are home to the airport. It is a centerpiece of our local economy and a major environmental presence.

    We also understand its key specialized role in the regional airport system that allows the Washington metropolitan area to function as a world capital. Your hearing today addresses the fundamental right of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to operate National and Dulles Airports in the best interests of the region and the Nation.
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    I assure you we want the airports to work for our Nation. We may be a local jurisdiction, but we are U.S. citizens and we care very deeply about our country. We fly, too. And we fly long distances.

    In our view, the Congressional Board of Review is unnecessary. The Airports Authority has proven itself capable of financing and efficiently operating National and Dulles Airports, the very things that the Federal Government was unable to do. The experience with the Board of Review oversight does not reveal a pattern of corrective action; on the contrary, there is only one instance referred to earlier in its 7-year history where the Airports Authority was overruled.

    Continued oversight is not justified, it adds complexity to the decision-making process, and is disruptive by interjecting a potentially political agenda into the affairs of what should be a commercial enterprise. The legality of congressional oversight is no longer in doubt. Courts have spoken in a clear voice on two separate occasions and it is time to let go.

    Stop putting old wine in new bottles in the form of revised congressional relationships with the Airports Authority. Let the Airports Authority conduct its business under the regional authority it was given in 1986. Beyond the legal defects, the Board of Review has another major defect and that is the lack of local representation. Its membership specifically excluded local political representation, leaving local interests with no voice.

    When amending the Metropolitan Washington Airports Act of 1986 and the associated lease to remove the legal defect in the form of the Board of Review, steps should be taken to improve local representation on the Airports Authority Board so there is a more direct voice for area interests.
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    National and Dulles Airports serve the metropolitan Washington area's residents and businesses and rely on their patronage in addition to providing access to the national government. The Airports Authority Board should reflect this client base more extensively than at present. A commercial enterprise that is more closely tied to its local constituency will be more sensitive, flexible, and responsive.

    Legislating a solution to the problems of oversight and local representation should not be approached as a venue for changing the status of the airports under the Airports Authority proprietorship. The two airports complement one another with National serving the short-haul domestic market and Dulles serving the long-haul domestic and international markets as well as offering the additional capacity for expansion of air service in both categories.

    These airports as presently defined, when combined with BWI, Baltimore-Washington Airport, provide exceptional air service to the region with a wide variety of air carriers, route patterns and price points. The adage that if it ain't broke, don't fix it, certainly applies here. The operational constraints employed at National in terms of the high density rule and the perimeter rule both are critical to the smooth operation of the regional airport system. Opening up National by extending its nonstop operating range or increasing its level of scheduled flights will put in—put it in direct competition with Dulles and with BWI as Congressman Moran pointed out earlier this afternoon.

    Focusing demands on the airport with the least capacity, which is National, at the expense of the airports with the most capacity, BWI and Dulles, would be a gross perversion of our region's air transport system. The High Density Rule and the Perimeter Rule should be retained in their present form.
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    Mr. Chairman, I will sum up with just three points. The Arlington County Board asks you to work with your colleagues to remove congressional oversight, expand local representation of the Airports Authority, and preserve the operational status of National Airport.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much.

    Ms. Krahnke.

    Ms. KRAHNKE. Thank you. Mr. Chairman Members of the subcommittee, my name is Betty Ann Krahnke. I am a member of the Montgomery County Council and I am here today to speak for the committee on noise abatement at National and Dulles Airports of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. And in response to questions, Washington COG is made up of 18 member jurisdictions. We have a 27 member Board of Directors and we are, of course, the air quality and transportation regional planning agency under Federal law for the region.

    The CNANDA, which I chair, has been in existence since 1985 and has worked with the Congress, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the local governments of the Washington area to encourage and monitor aircraft noise abatement at our two regional airports.

    We have been following with great interest the evolution of National and Dulles Airports into important national and international transportation facilities. Over this period, we have been especially concerned with efforts to relax noise abatement policies at National and actions by Congress to retain ultimate control over the operation of the airports notwithstanding the existence of WMAA and the airports transfer legislation of 1985.
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    Now that the Supreme Court has spoken on the legality of congressional oversight, it is time to get on with the job of making these two airports a true self-governing component of the region's transportation system with local involvement similar to that in other major urban regions in our country.

    I would like to speak to three issues: One, the need for elimination of the Board of Review; two, retaining and tightening noise rules; and, three, governance of the two airports.

    First, I urge the Congress to remedy the current legal impediment to governance of the two airports by abolishing the Congressional Board of Review. The Supreme Court has determined this arrangement to be unconstitutional and, frankly, to many local elected officials, it was an unnecessary intrusion into local airports decision-making. Local elected officials of this area have welcomed the promise of local governance of the airports and deserve the confidence given jurisdictions around other major airports.

    We have always viewed the Board of Review as taking back with one hand what Congress has given with the other. This is especially frustrating because it assumes that development and operating decisions on these facilities would undermine the Federal interest absent congressional oversight on major actions of the WMAA. We believe this is a false premise. To the contrary, the regional economic interests requires that we positively support the improvement of these facilities while attempting to minimize certain negative impacts on our communities.

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    Second, I urge the Congress to retain and strengthen enforcement of the 37 per hour commercial aircraft limitation on operations at National Airport. We have been dismayed by attempts by some in Congress to weaken this provision of the transfer legislation which we believe to be counterproductive to the intent of the transfer. COG also strongly supports maintenance and, wherever possible, strengthening the current Perimeter Rule at National Airport, night time noise restrictions, and all other aspects of airport operations which have the effect of reducing aircraft noise.

    Finally, on the subject of airport governance, we urge Congress to make eligible and provide for participation of elected and other local government officials for appoint to the Board of Directors of WMAA. We also urge that in correcting the airports transfer legislation, the Congress will provide general purpose local governments in this region the opportunity to appoint a portion of the airports Board of Directors and advisory committee structure.

    We support putting a role for advice to WMAA from the Council of Governments and a citizens advisory committee into the legislation.

    Mr. Chairman, we look forward to working with you in achieving these goals. They are essential to maintaining the quality of life in the Washington region of which we are all beneficiaries. We support the thrust of Congresswoman Morella's legislation, basically in enhancing local input and involvement in the region.

    And in closing, on behalf of the COG board of directors and its noise abatement committee, I thank you for the opportunity of appearing before you today and I hope you will take the necessary steps to make true local control of our airports a reality.
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    I wanted to make one last comment. There are lots of questions about land use planning and who moves where and why. We have competing—all of us have competing goals in this region and some of the new development has been because of the Federal investment in the Metro system. Some of the development in our communities predates National Airport and the fact that people have moved in there, we still want to provide a quality of life for them that they deserve and still have the airport be a viable part of our transportation and business system in our communities.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Well, thank you very much, Mrs. Krahnke.

    And Mr. Schefer.

    Mr. SCHEFER. Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to testify. My name is Leo Schefer and I am speaking for the Washington Airports Task Force. We are a nonpartisan coalition of nearly 1,000 business, civic, government, and travel industry leaders in this region who are dedicated to quality air service and to supporting our airports. We are conscious of 27 million travelers a year going through these two airports. We know that 66 percent of travelers at National and over 50 percent of travelers at Dulles are visitors and we are fully conscious that our airports serve the Nation as well as this region.

    I have submitted some testimony for the record, so I will paraphrase the rest of my comments.

    We absolutely support the swiftness with which you are moving to resolve the Airports Authority constitutional problem. It is obviously critically important to do that. We also would advocate maintaining the Perimeter Rule, maintaining the High Density Rule and generally the status quo with respect to National Airport.
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    Those rules have enabled a balance to be achieved in service, as Congressman Mineta indicated earlier, balancing use of our airport resources and over the last 10 years that has enabled us all to work together to attract a much higher standard of service than we ever enjoyed before when most of the service was concentrated down at National. And we believe that in any legislative solution in harnessing and freezing, those rules would be very desirable.

    Second, the access road. We are very concerned that the access road remain open for its intended purpose which is airport users. The FAA was wise enough 30 years ago to create that access corridor and to buy enough land for it that they could provide easements on the toll roads for local use as the city expanded towards the airport. Today, there are 10 lanes in the access road in the access corridor. Six of them for local use, four of them for airport use.

    The air travelers, the shippers, the trucks carrying freight to the airport, we need those lanes kept inviolate for airport use and we would ask that in any legislation you consider, that you protect the current users of those access roads. And also give the airport authority latitude so that in emergencies or in any temporary defined short-term period where there is a need to cooperate and generate goodwill with local authorities, they have the latitude to do that. But we think the access road is critically important.

    And lastly, I would note that Washington's economy is built around industries which are keyed to air service. Our coalition has subscribed over $6 million to help promote these airports over the last 10 years and I can assure you that the goodwill out there in the community towards these airports some of which you have heard today—you heard from Mr. Hunter—as well as the excellent record of our Airports Authority should provide comfort that these airports can be well managed if they are cast loose from the Board of Review.
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    Thank you.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you, Mr. Schefer. And I want to thank all the members of the panel for their testimony. Let me say a couple of things.

    You know, first of all, there have been 203 new Members elected in the House just in the last 2 years, almost half of the House. I know popular opinion is that some people stay too long here. I wonder now if we are getting people staying too short of a time. But because of all that turnover, I find myself sitting in this chair after being in the Congress for just 6 years.

    And in a way, I suppose that—and I was not here when the Board of Review was created. So possibly that helps me look at it with some objectivity. On the other hand, it also perhaps causes me to look at it with less knowledge than certain other Members, particularly Mr. Oberstar and Mr. Mineta.

    But it would seem to me that in this process there should be some way to accommodate the local interests which I think are very, very important, but also as Mr. Hechinger says in his testimony, he said we recognize that in some senses as the capital, Washington D.C. is different and therefore we suggest that Congress provide for four additional slots on the advisory committee to be filled by designees of Speaker and Minority Leader of the House and the President pro tem and Minority Leader of the Senate.

    I am wondering, Mr. Hechinger, would you object to doing something like that on the authority, itself, rather than the advisory committee?
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    Mr. HECHINGER. Well, as I understand it, the advisory committee is a compact created between the States—Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia—and I am sort of taking the legal opinion that that will not be a position—I mean, this wouldn't be a proper action of the Congress. In other words, the WMAA was created originally, but it is a charter that the Members have been—the governor of Virginia must do that, the governor of Maryland, and the mayor of the District of Columbia.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Well, let me ask you this. You know, when I am here, I live in a very nice section of Alexandria called Beverly Hills and that is very close to the National Airport. And to be honest with you, I have, I have never noticed any problem from aircraft noise. I don't want to see anybody bothered by aircraft noise.

    Are most of the people who are bothered by this noise, are they—do they live in the Old Town section or do they come from all over Alexandria and Arlington County or where?

    Mr. HECHINGER. Well, there is south and there is a north. And airplanes are taking off and landing in both directions. For example, I live near MacArthur Boulevard in Northwest on Chain Bridge Road in Northwest, and that is near the river, so take-offs for the most part are flying to the north and the noise is hitting my section of the District of Columbia where I live and in Virginia. And then there are landings and take-off in the south which affect Alexandria but just—there was a lot of talk about the annoyance in Old Town Alexandria.

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    What I can tell you is that it is absolutely impossible to do those same things, those outdoor things or in fact, I have a story because I have been at this opposition for so long that I have a bass fiddle whose G string was snapped by just sympathetic or nonsympathetic noise. It is tremendous and the fact is that this isn't to say to get the airplanes out the sky, but the main thing at least—but the main thing at least as I can—is sticking to the planned route which is to fly that river, thereby dividing the noise between Virginia and Maryland and reducing it substantially. And there is constant violation and this is really one of the main problems that exist over the whole territory.

    Ms. KRAHNKE. May I——

    Mr. DUNCAN. Of course I don't get to spend much time at home when I am here, so maybe that is why it doesn't affect me.

    Yes, Mrs. Krahnke.

    Ms. KRAHNKE. The flight path of the river route affects Montgomery County on the river side in Maryland and Virginia on the riverside, but the river flight path is the approved flight plan, and what CNANDA has been doing is working with WMAA to get noise monitoring equipment installed and to get radar tracking data to be able to verify a compliance and noncompliance and that is what we thought we were working on until the proposals came up to possibly eliminate the slot rule or to change the Perimeter Rule or to change the flight paths.

    And what we are here saying is we want the governance issue to be addressed by having more local input, not all local input but more local input. Both Maryland and Virginia have governors that have other jurisdictions that have airports and so we want this region to have representation that is either composed of or appointed by or given a list to the governors by people from this region, not other regions.
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    Mr. DUNCAN. My time is up, but let me just ask one brief final question and then I will not ask any other questions. Looking at this from a distance, there does not appear to have been much interference by the Congressional Review Board.

    What do you think the airports would have done differently if there had been no Review Board? How would they have operated differently than they have?

    Mr. HECHINGER. I think one effect is not the—is lack of sensitivity to the problems that we were discussing which just generally, I am sure on this panel and the others one, too, is that there would be more adherence and more quick compliance to the curfew rules, to the directional rules if there was more representation locally and not the overhang of the Board of Review. The Board of Review is gone constitutionally, but I mean there is always that super body which is hanging over the decisions of local officials.

    Mr. DUNCAN. All right. Thank you.

    Mr. Schefer very quickly.

    Mr. SCHEFER. I believe the Airports Authority would have done the same fine job, Board of Review or no Board of Review. One exception being there might have been a bit of a fight over the access road early on. But happily we are now all of one mind on the air side to keep that open.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Okay. Thank you very much.
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    Mr. Oberstar.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    The issue of noise really overhangs—that isn't quite the right word, is it—but colors this whole discussion and is a matter of intense local interest. Many years ago the State of Minnesota was a leader in putting up noise barriers along highways. And it happened that I was talking with one of the authorities in the Minnesota Highway Department who happened to live along a stretch of interstate, the circumferential highway around Minneapolis where that noise barrier was put up.

    And I said, How is it working? And his response, you know, now we can barbecue out in the backyard and hear the airplanes coming into the airport. Couldn't hear them before. There are all kinds of noise that we are subjected to. I lived in two different places in this area during the time of my service in the Congress and I got a lot of 495 noise, backyard, that literally drowned out whatever airport noise there was.

    And until a segment of 495 surfacing was changed to be of a nature that absorbed tire noise from trucks and automobiles, it was intolerable on those few nights when you could be outside in the backyard in Washington summers. I spent about as much time in my backyard in the summer in Washington as you can in the backyard in December in Minnesota.

    A serious concern I have, though, Mr. Hechinger, what specifically do you object to in the performance of the board, the Review Board in the past? What actions have they taken that interfered with the performance of the Authority?
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    Mr. HECHINGER. I don't know of any specific incidents. I really would say that just its presence is counter to Contract With America's idea of pushing down the matter of control to the local citizens.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. You know, I respect your great business acumen and the skill with which you built a hardware empire and I helped build it. I spent a lot of time in your store. I am a hardware junky, believe me. I have got four of every kind of tool you need. The only trouble is, I have never been able to get out of your hardware store in time to use these tools, and with this contract we are dealing with now for America, we have a heck of a lot less time.

    I also recognize your great contribution in building the home rule for the city of the District of Columbia.

    Mr. HECHINGER. Thank you, sir.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. But these were nationally owned assets. They are unlike any other airport in the country. And had they been a Minneapolis-St. Paul or a Nashville or any other airport in the country that was locally owned, locally built, it would be a totally different matter. But because of the overriding national interest, the Congress did establish this Board of Review and now in the fashion in which it was done, it can no longer continue.

    So the question is, how would—absent a Board of Review, how would the Dulles Access Road expansion have been stopped?
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    Mr. SCHEFER. I think what would have happened, when any organization was very much opposed to the decision the Airports Authority Board made, quite how we would have ended up stopping it, I don't know. At that time, we certainly welcomed having the body who would stop it and it is one reason why we recommend casting into law preservation of the access road corridor because it is going to become increasingly vital as the region grows and as air service grows and as our dependence on Dulles Airport grows.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. But you would have no effective way of stopping it? Because the board had some powers. That is the answer. Excuse me. Time is running out here.

    Ms. Krahnke, if we did the—if the Morella bill were to be adopted and the expansion of local interests empowered on the Authority, what different decisions do you expect would be made than have been made in the past?

    Ms. KRAHNKE. I have great respect for the people that are serving on this. It is not a matter of objecting to the decisions, it is a matter of access and people—I don't think we would have had the kind of lawsuits and other things we have had if this had been done right. The issue of having local—I mean, we have a Metro system here that has an authority and the State of Maryland wanted to do one of the appointments that Montgomery County used to have because they are now funding a part of the operating budget.

    But the Federal Government paid a lot of money in, and continues to, for Metro and we have not been afraid of the local jurisdictions doing that. On the access road, I do believe that if you had people that were accountable to local areas, Marylanders have a much harder time getting to Dulles Airport. The Access Road is there, but you have to cross across a whole bunch of Virginia things to get on it and you are not the preferred customer, so to speak. So I think there would be more ways of an Authority being accountable to the citizens of the region and that that could pressure a decision like that to preferred airport users.
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. I have some other questions and I will ask them later.

    Mr. DUNCAN. All right. Thank you, Mr. Oberstar.

    Mr. Mineta.

    Mr. MINETA. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me ask, first of all, all of you I take it are in opposition to the abolition of the Perimeter Rule?

    Mr. SCHEFER. Correct.

    Mr. MINETA. Do I understand you are all agreed on that.

    Now, Mr. Hechinger, in response to an earlier question or maybe just a statement that you made, you made reference to both the National Airport and Washington Dulles Airport and you described them as our airports.

    To whom were you referring when you said our airports?

    Mr. HECHINGER. I would say the metropolitan region. With each of us from a different area here on your panel and that—when I say our airport, it certainly is not mine alone personally. The idea is that we do feel that it is a regional facility.

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    Mr. MINETA. Who owns the airports?

    Mr. HECHINGER. Well, that is the question, I think, that was hit pretty hard today that the—it is a tenancy, as I understand it, by the airports on land that is owned by the Federal Government. Is that the case? I will put the question back.

    Mr. MINETA. You are correct, they are owned by the Federal Government.

    Mr. HECHINGER. Right. You know, we were just talking with Mr. Baab and earlier with Mr. Morrison who owns Union Station? I mean, is the ground—all of the District of Columbia was Federal at one point.

    Mr. MINETA. But there are legal entities that own those kinds of facilities and in the case of Dulles and National it happens to be the Federal Government. Again, in the case of Union Station, it is a federally owned corporation that has leased that property to a corporation, a for-profit corporation. That was my legislation that permitted that to do that, rather than letting it become a visitors center as one of our ''normal-er'' committee Chairmen here wanted on the full committee wanted it to be.

    But nevertheless——

    Mr. HECHINGER. I remember that.

    Mr. MINETA. And I think today when we look at Union Station and I think what it might have been is a visitors center and I think we are really a lot better off today to see Union Station as it is.
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    I guess the other thing I would like to just ask about in terms of your organization, CAAN, I take it you have had several objectives. One is to get rid of the Board of Review of the Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority, but I take it the underlying purpose of CAAN was to prevent any new construction at National and Dulles or maybe just National.

    Mr. HECHINGER. I think there have been numbers of specifics like the location of the tower and things like that that many of the local people have been involved in, but I don't think that there is any philosophy of doing away with National or cutting down the total building.

    Mr. MINETA. Well, there seems—there is an article if I can find it, spokesman for CAAN saying that our concerns are not solely due to noise and we feel that the expansion plans involve safety issues as well. And that although the suit dealt with constitutional issues, CAAN's goal is to prevent the Airports Authority from completing its $1 billion plan to build a new main terminal at National and thoroughly renovate the half century old facility.

    Mr. HECHINGER. I don't recognize it and it is very possible that this is someone at CAAN—we are not all collected in this fraternity on every point.

    Mr. MINETA. But this is the spokesperson for CAAN, Sherwin Landfield.

    Mr. HECHINGER. Yes.
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    Mr. MINETA. Is that correct.

    Mr. HECHINGER. Yes. He has been here at the hearing. Is Sherwin here?

    Mr. LANDFIELD. Yes, indeed. Silent so far.

    Mr. HECHINGER. Sherwin, did you say that?

    Mr. LANDFIELD. I think a proper business approach would be to conduct——

    Mr. MINETA. Mr. Chairman, point of order, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. DUNCAN. We can't allow that. We have to have testimony just from the witnesses.

    Mr. HECHINGER. Sorry.

    Mr. MINETA. Let me ask Mr. Schefer, in terms of the businesses that operate at Dulles and National, do the local counties charge a tax on the business operations at the airports?

    Mr. SCHEFER. I would defer that question to Mr. Hunter, Mr. Congressman. I do not know. The organization I represent is not just business. We have environmental leaders, university president, and we try to have a broad cross-section in both our leadership and in our membership.
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    Mr. MINETA. Let me ask if I might, Mr. Chairman, very quickly.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Yes, go ahead.

    Mr. MINETA. The gentleman from Arlington County, Mr. Hunter, do I take it the county charges a tax for the flight kitchens, business license fees, et cetera, for those who operate at—I guess for your jurisdiction, it would only be National.

    Mr. HUNTER. Just National Airport, yes.

    Mr. MINETA. I have heard recently that the airlines were afraid that Arlington County wanted to tax the airplanes. Is this something that Arlington County is considering doing?

    Mr. HUNTER. I am not aware of any taxes on airplanes. There was an issue on catering service and a meals tax that restaurant meals tax that we have in Arlington County and we—to give you an example, we were very responsive on that issue, very sensitive that they might move their operation which they could probably have done pretty easily to Pittsburgh or some other jurisdiction and we moderated the taxation to make it more business-friendly.

    Mr. MINETA. What kind of property can be taxed by Arlington County of those businesses on—let's say, at National Airport?

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    Mr. HUNTER. Well, we can tax property—we can't tax federally owned property, so the Pentagon, for example, is not taxed. So we are I think the second jurisdiction only to Washington, D.C. in our inability to tax property tax. We can tax meals that I already mentioned that are served on the airplane. There may be some other taxes, but they are very minor, Congressman.

    Mr. MINETA. No other property such as aircraft is being contemplated to be taxed at Arlington? At National Airport?

    Mr. HUNTER. I don't know of any tax like that, but if there is, Congressman, I will get back to you in writing.

    Mr. MINETA. That would be helpful.

    [The information received follows:]

    [Insert here.]

    Mr. SCHEFER. Mr. Congressman, I can shed a little bit more light on that direction on Dulles for you. The local jurisdictions, I believe, do have the powers to levy the same taxes there as they levy elsewhere, and there is certainly a very small fuel tax collected by the State, but the county which has the principal portion of Dulles in it has chosen to zero effectively its personal property taxes in order to encourage aviation use.

    Mr. HECHINGER. May I just step in here with a rather light moment. The idea was referred to my interest in home rule. The fact is, I was going to United Nations to try to straighten out the fact that the airport is built on District of Columbia soil because the District of Columbia goes to the high watermark on the Virginia side and so every one of those runways really are in the District of Columbia and, you know, we want recognition of that sometime in life.
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    Mr. MINETA. But wasn't that the Commonwealth of Virginia that reneged on the deal originally when Maryland and Virginia decided, yes, they would contribute land to make it the District of Columbia but it was Virginia that never followed through on their part of the supposed agreement?

    Mr. HECHINGER. Well, no, they had to. And they did and the District of Columbia, what it did, comprise all of Arlington. And there was no growth back in 1860 and it was foolishly we gave away Rosslyn and every other thing and that is what is wrong with our budget.

    Mr. MINETA. John, I will tell you, if you could find a good buyer for us to Washington National, I am quite sure we could take those proceeds and put it against the national deficit and serve everybody's interests real well and then it can be your airport.

    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you, Mr. Mineta.

    Mr. Oberstar.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Just a couple. You know, the legislation does require that, except for the presidential appointee, all members of the Board of Directors must be residents of the metropolitan Washington area. Now if we were to accept the principle of the Morella bill, you would be doubling up on them, wouldn't you?
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    Ms. KRAHNKE. No. It would be keeping that that they have to be from the Washington area but——

    Mr. OBERSTAR. But you are expanding that even more. You are putting even more people from the Washington metropolitan area on.

    Ms. KRAHNKE. What you are doing is putting a role for the Washington COG in either naming—or being or naming or giving names to the governors for those appointments.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Is the current representation on the Board of Directors unrepresentative?

    Mr. SCHEFER. No, Mr. Congressman, I don't think it is. The airports are serving a very large territory. They are not serving just the immediate local jurisdiction. Dulles and National, in terms of local region, probably serve 4 million people.

    I think that the wisdom that went into the crafting of the balance in the Authority's current Board of Directors was very sound. The people in the region elect the governor, the governor appoints the people to the Authority's board in Maryland and Virginia and the District. The President appoints his appointee.

    I certainly do not feel and I don't think the members of my organization feel disenfranchised or unable to comment. We are a democracy. We all know how to comment and make our comments felt when we need to.
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you.

    In Minnesota, the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport is part of a system of airports in the State of Minnesota governed by the Metropolitan Airports Commission to whom the governor appoints members who are representative of the whole State of Minnesota. And I would liken this to that national interest that Congress and all the people in the country have in an asset that was owned and continues to be owned by all the people of the United States.

    There is one final question to explore here. If the Board of Review were continued but allowed only to make recommendations for changes in functions or activities posed by the Authority, make recommendations to the Congress, which then could act on legislation, would that be a compromise?

    Mr. HECHINGER. Let me ask Alan Morrison to address that.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Identify yourself, please.

    Mr. MORRISON. I am Alan Morrison. I was counsel for Mr. Hechinger and the others in the two lawsuits, with my colleague, Patti Goldman. I suppose if we had started in 1986 with an advisory committee made up of Members of Congress on the Airports Authority, probably nobody would have questioned it.

    I could not say now, however, given the history of the Board of Review, that someone would not come back into court and say you have just put up another smoke screen and it really is congressional interference of the kind that courts have had. It would have to be very clear that it is purely advisory with no opportunity to stop anything from going into effect. In our judgment, that kind of control, additional role for Congress is not necessary.
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    We have suggested in our testimony that an advisory committee made up of people from the local area as well as some representatives from both Houses of Congress could serve to help the national interests in gathering information about what is going on so that they could—Congress could more intelligently conduct the oversight which needs to be done. There are plainly some things about National and Dulles Airports that do have a national implication.

    I would be very hesitant to say that the courts would not strike down an advisory committee given this history. It would have to be made absolutely clear that it is purely advisory. And then, as somebody said, what is really the point of Congress doing that and putting Members or former Members on it given the fact that the Airports Authority has shown over 7 years an ability to be concerned about the national interests? There are plenty of other adequate means of passing statutes, legislative oversight hearings, and I suggest that it is not necessary at all.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. I think in the aftermath of whatever action we take, there will be a vigorous oversight by the Congress of the activities of the Authority.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. DUNCAN. All right. Thank you, Mr. Oberstar.

    And thank you very much Members of the panel. And this will conclude our hearing.

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    [Whereupon, at 5:05 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]

    [Insert here.]

88–180 CC










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FEBRUARY 9, 1995

Printed for the use of the

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure


BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania, Chairman

WILLIAM F. CLINGER, Jr., Pennsylvania
THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New Hampshire
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BILL BAKER, California
JAY KIM, California
STEPHEN HORN, California
BOB FRANKS, New Jersey
PETER I. BLUTE, Massachusetts
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
ZACH WAMP, Tennessee
RANDY TATE, Washington
RAY LaHOOD, Illinois

NORMAN Y. MINETA, California
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NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia
JAMES A. HAYES, Louisiana
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
MIKE PARKER, Mississippi
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
PAT DANNER, Missouri
JAMES E. CLYBURN, South Carolina
BOB FILNER, California
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JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee, Chairman

JERRY WELLER, Illinois, Vice Chairman
WILLIAM F. CLINGER, Jr., Pennsylvania
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New Hampshire
JAY KIM, California
RANDY TATE, Washington
RAY LaHOOD, Illinois
BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
(Ex Officio)

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ROBERT E, WISE, Jr., West Virginia
JAMES A. HAYES, Louisiana
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
PAT DANNER, Missouri
JAMES E. CLYBURN, South Carolina
NORMAN Y. MINETA, California
(Ex Officio)




FEBRUARY 9, 1995

    Brown, Albert, Citizens for the Abatement of Aircraft Noise

    Hechinger, John W. accompanied by Alan Morrison and Patti Goldman, Lawyers, Public Citizen Litigation Group, and Craig Baab and Sherwin Landfield, Lawyers, Citizens for the Abatement of Aircraft Noise
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    Hunter, James, Member, Arlington County Board

    Krahnke, Betty Ann, Chair, Committee on Noise Abatement at National and Dulles Airports, Metropolitan Washington Council of Government

     McCain, Hon. John, a U.S. Senator from Arizona

    Moran, Hon. James P., a Representative in Congress from Virginia

    Morella, Hon. Constance, a Representative in Congress from Maryland

    Schefer, Leo J., President, Washington Airports Task Force

    Tardio, Robert F., Chairman, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority accompanied by James Wilding, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, and Larry Coughlin, Member, Board of Review, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

    Wolf, Hon. Frank, a Representative in Congress from Virginia


    Costello, Hon. Jerry F., of Illinois

    Martini, Hon. Bill, of New Jersey
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    Moran, Hon. James P., of Virginia

    Morella, Hon. Constance, of Maryland

    Wolf, Hon. Frank, of Virginia


    Brown, Albert

    Hechinger, John W

    Hunter, James

    Krahnke, Betty Ann

    Schefer, Leo J

    Tardio, Robert F


McCain, Hon. John, U.S. Senator from Arizona:

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Letter from McDonnell Douglas, February 9, 1995
Letter from Boeing, February 8, 1995
    Hunter, James, Member, Arlington County Board, letter to Rep. Mineta, February 10, 1995

    Sullivan, Denis T., for the CAAN Board, letter to Chairman Duncan, February 13, 1995