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Monitor Breakfast

Selected quotations from a Monitor Breakfast with FAA Administrator Jane Garvey

On the state of air travel:

"While travel is down and demand is down certainly at this point, it is coming back. We are beginning to see places where it is coming back strong and being prepared for that demand when it does return is really critical for us.... Interestingly enough, we are also seeing a shift to regional airlines. So while the passenger numbers may not be as strong, the way they are responding to that is to shift to some of the regionals. So from an air traffic perspective, the traffic is up even though the numbers may be down."

On ways to reduce long waits at security checkpoints:

"I think the notion and the concept of a smart card is one that absolutely must be pursued. You are right, people have been extraordinarily patient but I think at some point that patience will wear thin. I think people also make a good point that we want to make sure our resources, our attention is focused on the right people. The undersecretary (in charge of the Transportation Security Agency) has pointed to challenges around a smart card, challenges around privacy but more importantly: Is it a system that is really impenetrable? I think those are legitimate challenges but I don't think they are insurmountable."

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On whether Sept. 11 represented an FAA failure:

"I don't think there is a member of Congress or anyone who has anything to do with aviation or the intelligence community who hasn't asked themselves: Should we have done more? Were there actions we could have taken? ...What Sept. 11 says to me in terms of security is that the threat assessments and the work we had done in the past served us well during those periods but certainly is not serving us well and would not serve us well in the new order, in the new world we are facing..."

On problems paying for airport improvements since travel tax receipts are down:

"I think it is going to be much more challenging. I think it is partly because of the tax receipts being down, although again I think that will come back up. I think more importantly we are going to see demands for security that we never saw in the past. We are looking at security in a far different way. So the demands for security are going to be very, very challenging for the passenger side of the equation. That in my mind makes it even more important to be strategic in the investment and to speak with one voice..."