Review and Comment on a Copy of a Military Cargo Fact Sheet Concerning the Relationship Between the Civil and the Military Air Transport Systems

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-10-06.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                                    COMPTROLLER     GENERAL     OF
                                                  WASHINGTON.    D.


.. ;         Dear Senator       Mathias:
                    In your letter            of May 24, 1971, you requested         that we
             review and comment on a copy of a military                    cargo fact sheet
             concerning        the relationship         betwee'~~~~~~~i;~Z-=and
                                                                       u-4.3       the mili-
             tary air       transport
                                _-_.-x-l    systems.
                    The opinion      expressed in the fact sheet was that only
             through legislation         would the proper balance between civil
             and military     air transportation      be ensured and that action
             programmed to achieve this objective             was in motion.     On
             May 11, 1971, House bill          8264 and Senate bill       1821 were in-
             troduced     to provide     the type of legislation       suggested   in the
             fact sheet, which is that a minimum of 50 percent of mili-
             tary cargo be placed with U.S. commercial              carriers.

                      The Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee                  on Aviation,       Corn- ..,.I :
             mittee on Commerce, in a press release                    dated July 20, 1971,
             stated that the Committee temporarily                    had deferred      action     on
             Senate bill       1821 because the Air Force had indicated                    that,    in
             fiscal     year 1972, international             cargo business for the civil
             reserve      air fleet     would be increased          from $43 million         to
             about $85 million.             In addition,      the Air Force has indicated
             that the Army is about to begin a major new shipment by air
             program that should increase                air cargo tonnage.          As a result
             of these developments,             the Committee feels that it is not now
             timely     to report      specific    set-aside      legislation      when efforts
             are under way to ameliorate               the situation        by voluntary       changes
             in procurement         practices.
                    --       __-._
                      Enclosed is a copy of our comments to the Chairman, Corn-                            :,
             mittee     on Commerce, U.S. Senate, on Senate bill                   1821.

                      In summary, we commented that less than 10 percent                      of
             military      cargo currently           was allocated      to the commercial      air
             fleet      and that,    at the same time, commercial air cargo traffic
             had declined        as a result         of the current       world economic condi-
             tion.       These facts make it difficult               for airlines      to maintain
             commitments of aircraft               to the civil      reserve air fleet       and to
             obtain additional           aircraft      said ITbe       needed Kthe       event of
               --a--       emergency.         Although     the   50-percent     requirement

                                           50TH   ANNIVERSARY         7921-   1971 ross   913    /
- . L                                 .      I

 . +


    contained   in the bills     is designed  to resolve this problem,
    we believe    that it may not be the best solution,      as such a
    requirement     might generate    too much revenue to the airlines
    in some years and not enough in other years.

            We have suggested         to the Congress two possible         alterna-
    tives:       (1) appropriation         by the Congress for each fiscal
    year of a fixed          dollar   amount to be expended by the military
    for commercial          cargo airlift      or (2) a direct    subsidy    designed
    to maintain       the reserve       fleet   at a desired   level.     Under these
    alternatives        the Congress could exercise          more precise      control
    over the specific           amounts of money to be expended to keep the
    civil     reserve     air fleet     program viable.

         We shall  be happy        to discuss    these    matters   with   you or
    members of your staff.

                                            Sincerely     yours,

                                            of the United      States


    The Honorable      Charles   McC. Mathias,      Jr.
    United States      Senate