America's air transport system is losing altitude fast. Even with the economy growing again, airlines continue to slash service. Worse, industry leaders warn higher fares and more cuts lie ahead. The effects are real. And they are increasingly unfair, as they affect some regions far more than others. In heartland cities like St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Memphis, for instance, businesses find themselves cut off from world markets, and citizens find it ever harder to get where they want to go.
We held a conversation about the causes, effects, and potential fixes for America’s air transport crisis. The discussion departed from an article by New America’s Phil Longman and Lina Khan in the latest Washington Monthly that details the deterioration in service since the air transport industry was “deregulated” in 1979. But the discussion will mainly look forward and discuss practical ways to keep America’s business and leisure travelers in the air.