Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Letter to Ross Rizley, Chairman, Civil Aeronautics Board, on the Great Circle Route to the Orient.

January 18, 1956

Dear Mr. Rizley:

In connection with the Trans-Pacific Certificate Renewal Case (Docket No. 5031, et al.), I advised the Board on February 1, 1955 that I desired to hold in abeyance my decision concerning the use of the Great Circle route by Pan American World Airways pending further study and later report on the economic and technical feasibility and the military and foreign policy implications of nonstop service between the West Coast and the Orient.

I am informed that commercial equipment capable of providing regular and consistent nonstop service in both directions between the West Coast and the Orient is not yet available. Hence, in the absence of possible new circumstances or developments since February 1, 1955 that might be relevant to the question concerning Pan American's use of the Great Circle route, I see no occasion for a change at this time in my initial decision.

I have been advised, however, that new circumstances and new developments have arisen that may make at least some of the considerations previously raised by the Board no longer applicable. I, therefore, request the Board to consider the case in the light of any new and relevant circumstances or developments that it finds to exist, and advise me as soon as possible as to its findings and conclusions thereon.



Note: In his letter of February 1, 1955, the President returned without approval Civil Aeronautics Board orders affecting several airlines in the Trans-Pacific Renewal Case. The Board issued revised orders renewing the temporary certificate of Northwest Airlines to fly the shorter, Great Circle route, but deferring its decision as to a similar application by Pan American World Airways. The President's letter and a statement as to the revised orders were released by the Board on February 2, 1955.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Ross Rizley, Chairman, Civil Aeronautics Board, on the Great Circle Route to the Orient. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232951

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