With assist from Tanya Snyder
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— The Home Homeland Safety Committee says DHS is leaving it at the hours of darkness about key elements of the company’s response to the pandemic.
— JetBlue’s CEO predicted a “smaller airline” sooner or later, and stated the service is weighing fare construction adjustments.
— DOT will hand out thousands and thousands of fabric masks to transportation staff throughout modes, however a union chief says they’d choose federal mandates that defend workers.
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“The quicker we’re falling, / We’re stopping and stalling / We’re working in circles once more.”
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DEMOCRATS IN THE DARK: The Home Homeland Safety Committee wrote an indignant letter to DHS on Thursday, chiding the company for its failure to reply to requests for info on plenty of subjects, together with the Trump administration’s European journey restrictions and Mission Airbridge, the federal authorities’s efforts to fly PPE to the frontlines of pandemic response. “As a result of the failure of DHS to provide documents and information the Committee has requested, the Committee lacks critical information on most aspects of the Federal response,” wrote Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).
Points with Airbridge: The letter says that the committee has gotten troubling info from distributors concerned within the PPE venture, together with that some used different strategies, like ocean freight, to move their merchandise. One other excellent concern: “It is unclear if flights were scheduled with the intention of moving specific volumes of supplies expected to meet some percentage of estimated or projected need, or whether other considerations informed the flight scheduling decisions,” the letter reads.
COMMITTEE REPORT CARDS: New scores of committees’ oversight document out this week give a middling grade to the Home’s transportation committee of jurisdiction, and a failing mark to the Senate’s. The Lugar Heart’s congressional oversight listening to index, which compares committee oversight work on this Congress to previous efficiency, handed a B- to Peter DeFazio and the Home Transportation Committee, however Roger Wicker’s Senate Commerce could be in for oversight summer season college with an F.
AIRLINE CEO DISHES ON THE FUTURE: JetBlue will emerge from the present disaster as a “smaller airline” and can possible must resort to layoffs if not sufficient folks volunteer to go away the corporate, CEO Robin Hayes acknowledged in a web-based video dialog with The Washington Put up on Thursday. (The admission adopted the same one by American Airways on Wednesday.) Hayes stated the CARES Act gave the trade “time to breathe” and that with out it, “the sensible thing to do would have been just to ground the fleet and furlough the vast majority of our people.” He stated 60 % of JetBlue workers have already opted to take no less than some unpaid time without work.
Passengers may have the ability to name in sick: Hayes disregarded the concept that any sort of ongoing change to seating configuration (like eliminating the center seat) or passenger caps may very well be viable, however he did nod to a distinct “fare structure” that might “give people the ability to change flights more easily,” as a result of it’s “not ever really going to be acceptable for someone who is unwell to feel that they’re being made to fly.”
In the meantime, JD Energy revealed its annual airline satisfaction research this week, with the survey of passengers taking over a markedly completely different taste from previous editions because the pandemic continues to dominate, properly, every little thing. Among the many findings: Prospects need transparency and particulars about how they’re being protected, together with sanitization and cleansing.
The medal goes to: Southwest Airways gained the very best buyer satisfaction rankings for each quick and lengthy flights.
THE CASE AGAINST FLYING CARS: Not everybody’s excited concerning the prospect of flying automobiles swooping right into a metropolis close to you. Kevin DeGood, director of infrastructure coverage on the Heart for American Progress, writes in a scathing new report that the expertise represents “the technological apotheosis of sprawl and an attempt to eradicate distance as a fact of life for elites who are wealthy enough to routinely let slip the bonds of gravity.”
His recommendation to policymakers: Put aside “simplistic techno-utopian pronouncements,” deal with the probably precise impacts of accelerating present improvement patterns, and spend public cash on transportation initiatives which can profit extra folks.
COVER UP: DOT will give out greater than 15 million material masks to transportation staff as a part of a broad Trump administration effort to maintain equipping vital staff, the company stated Thursday. The facial coverings, which had been obtained by FEMA, shall be despatched via the Postal Service to transit, rail, aviation, maritime, freeway and pipeline staff.
Not sufficient for struggling staff: Larry Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Division (AFL-CIO), a coalition of 33 transportation unions, stated that staff would somewhat see sector-specific mandates designed to guard staff. “What frontline transportation workers need today are mandatory health and safety rules and assurances that employers will follow those standards,” Willis stated in a press release.
DOC OF THE DAY: The Affiliation for Commuter Transportation revealed suggestions for employers and commuter and transportation organizations meant to maintain folks secure as they begin to return to work. The recommendations embrace an emphasis on carpooling (as a substitute for public transportation), utilizing parking areas extra effectively to account for extra folks driving on their very own, and boosting telework.
John Younger has joined the Federal Maritime Fee as counsel to Commissioner Carl Bentzel. Younger is a veteran of maritime and freight coverage, having labored on the American Affiliation of Ports Authorities and on Capitol Hill.
— “Latin America grabs world spotlight for airline bankruptcies.” Reuters.
— “Airlines increase job cuts as pandemic crushes air travel.” Related Press.
— “Nuro’s driverless delivery robots will transport medicine to CVS customers in Texas.” The Verge.
— “UPS Adds Peak Delivery Surcharge to Manage E-Commerce Demand Amid Coronavirus.” Wall Road Journal.
— “Elon Musk earns first performance-based payout from Tesla, worth more than $700 million.” CNBC.
— “How non-public jet house owners bought a subsidy from coronavirus reduction funds.” NBC Information.
DOT appropriations run out in 124 days. The FAA reauthorization expires in 1,220 days. Freeway and transit coverage is up for renewal in 124 days.