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NBTA welcomes new congress, sets legislative agenda

NBTA supports a registered traveler program, federal funding of transportation security, and fair competition

As Congress begins a new session, the business travel industry is looking to Washington for solutions to some of its current challenges…

As Congress begins a new session, the business travel industry is looking to Washington for solutions to some of its current challenges. The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) welcomes legislators and encourages them to keep travel and transportation issues at the top of the legislative agenda.



Congress has the unique opportunity to advance funding and programs for aviation, highways and railways this year, said NBTA President Kevin Iwamoto. It must seize this opportunity and ensure that the nation’s 250 million business travelers have a safe, competitive and efficient national transportation system.



In recent surveys, NBTA members have expressed hope that the government would act to solve problems in several policy areas, including security and travel distribution. Therefore, NBTA urges Congress to address the following issues during the upcoming session:



Travel Security: NBTA supports efforts to ensure that the traveling public can move through the nation’s transportation gateways safely. However, the Association urges Congress to explore alternative screening methods like a registered traveler program to allow seamless and efficient processing of frequent travelers. In a recent NBTA survey, over 40% of respondents believed U.S. passport holders and foreign travelers with appropriate immigration papers should have access to a trusted traveler program. Over 54% said registered travelers should go through the same security screening as others but should pass through a separate screening line.



Transportation Funding: In preparation for the reauthorization of federal highway and aviation programs, Congress and the Administration need to ensure that transportation security is viewed and funded as a national security priority. Congress needs to make appropriate distinctions between funds that were historically appropriated for improving transportation infrastructure and funds that the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security will need to upgrade airport and transportation security. Over 42% of respondents believed that the federal government should pay for additional security costs by a dual contribution of general revenue funds and user fees.



Distribution and Competition: With the explosion of new distribution methods in the travel industry, NBTA believes policymakers need to ensure that all methods of distribution are consistent with current laws and fair business practices. In addition, Congress should attempt to promote a fair and competitive travel marketplace that provides sufficient choice for travelers. Slightly more than one third of survey respondents agreed that the new CRS rules proposed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) would lower airlines distribution costs. At the same time however, participants expressed concerns that the rules would make fare information less transparent because some carriers may not participate in all systems (54%) and create problems for CRS and travel agency contracting (43%).



The National Business Travel Association, established in 1968, represents over 2,400 corporate travel managers and travel service providers. NBTA members manage and direct more than 70% of expenditures within the business travel industry.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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