Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks on Arrival at Seattle, Washington

October 25, 1976

Thank you very, very much, Dan. It's wonderful to be in Seattle, the great State of Washington, and we're delighted to come in on one of those great planes made right here in the Boeing plant. It's good, safe, very comfortable; we thank you for it very, very much.

But I'd also like to express my appreciation for Joel Pritchard being here and the other fine State officials who have participated in this warm welcome. And I, of course, am deeply grateful for Mr. Wilson being here and have the opportunity to see so many of the Boeing employees.

I can recall vividly, on several occasions in past years, I came out and had a chance to go through your plant, meet many of your fellow employees personally. You should be proud of what you do. We're very proud of your contributions.

I have a couple of special guests that I would like to introduce to you. First, former Congresswoman Edith Green, who is well-known all throughout the Northwest, formerly from Oregon as an outstanding representative in the House of Representatives. Edith. Edith and I served together for 19 years in the House of Representatives. She was, I think, the most knowledgeable person in education and labor management legislation. She was on the other side of the aisle. She's heading up the Citizens for Ford Committee as a loyal Democrat. Let me say without hesitation, when she was on your side, we usually won. When she was against you, it was tough. But thank you very much for being with us. And then there's somebody else I think all of you know, my good friend Joe Garagiola. Joe is working with us to do a few good television programs around the country. We did one in California last night. He's terrific, not only in those sporting events but he does a great job helping our cause. Then another person you've seen a good many times--Betty and I've watched "Mission: Impossible" more times than I can count--it's a pleasure for me to introduce Peter Graves. Peter.

I'm especially pleased to be here in Boeing country and to thank you for the very warm welcome. This city and, of course, this State have long demonstrated a very special active interest in protecting your environment.

One of the major threats to our environment is noise pollution. We must reduce the noise pollution around American airports and bring quiet back to the skies throughout our country. We must free aviation from arbitrary and unnecessary restrictions and regulations so that the airlines themselves can pay the cost of quieting aircraft noise.

We should create an economic climate which will stimulate valuable and lasting jobs in our aircraft industry. I know how important this is to the city of Seattle, which has long been a leader in military and commercial aircraft.

I've directed the Secretary of Transportation to instruct the Administrator of FAA to extend its noise standards to all domestic U.S. commercial aircraft to become effective January 1, 1977, and to be phased in over an 8-year period. I'm also directing the Secretary of State to initiate negotiations with the International Civil Aviation Conference to reach agreement on noise standards for all international aircraft flying into the United States. And I'm putting the Congress on notice that I will not accept its failure to act on aviation regulatory reform. Congress must adopt the airline regulatory measure that I proposed in 1975. Passage of this legislation will mean lower air fares, a stronger aviation industry, which is more able to pay for new, quieter aircraft, and jobs for our aerospace workers--and we didn't plan that plane flying over. [Laughter]

I want the Members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle to know that aviation regulatory reform will be on their doorstep when they come back in January. Congress must act within 90 days after the new session opens on January 3, 1977. With congressional action, we can make certain that U.S. airlines will meet noise standards and, at the same time, continue to be a healthy and competitive industry serving some 200 million Americans.

I have directed the Secretary of Transportation to schedule open public hearings before the end of this year, to consider whether financing provisions may be necessary to ensure that the air carriers can meet those noise requirements. The Secretary will consider and will evaluate the financial condition as well as the needs of the airline industry, the costs of meeting the new noise standards, and alternative sources of funds to pay these costs. And I'm directing the Secretary of Transportation to report his findings to me by March 3, 1977.

Solving the airport noise problem--and it's a serious problem in 26 airports throughout the United States, affecting some 6 million people who live in the vicinity of these airports--it's an environmental imperative that we make progress in this area. In solving this problem, we will bring into service a fleet of quiet, new aircraft that will result in up to a 30-percent saving in fuel, lower operating costs, lower fares, and less air pollution from older aircraft.

Replacing the older planes will also strengthen our aircraft industry, which is absolutely vital to our world leadership in economic trade and our national defense. And in building these new aircraft, we will create almost a quarter of a million of useful, productive jobs for Americans.

The best way to make sure that our aerospace workers have lasting jobs and create new, permanent jobs in the aircraft and related industries is to give the free enterprise system its best chance to operate. We'll do it.

Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 10:45 a.m. at the Boeing Field at the King County International Airport. In his opening remarks, he referred to Governor Daniel J. Evans of Washington, Representative Joel Pritchard, and T. Wilson, chairman of the board of the Boeing Company.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks on Arrival at Seattle, Washington Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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