Saturday, January 19, 2008

Governor Huntsman and Mayor Ralph Becker to Co-Chair Air Transportation Promotion Alliance

Initial Purpose of Group is to Address Possible Delta Airlines Merger

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman announced today they are forming an alliance to address opportunities and challenges currently facing air transportation in Utah.

The Governor and Mayor will co-chair the newly formed group, the Air Transportation Promotion Alliance. The alliance will address a variety of short-term and long-term strategic air transportation issues.

Governor Huntsman and Mayor Becker have assembled a cross-section of business, government and community leaders to participate in the Air Transportation Promotion Alliance. Members will include Democratic and Republican representatives from the Utah State Legislature yet to be named, and the following individuals:

Jon Huntsman, Governor

Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City Mayor

Meg Holbrook, Utah Transportation Commissioner

Jason Perry, Director, Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Lane Beattie, President and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce

Keith Christensen, Member, Salt Lake City Airport Board

Joe Zeidner, General Counsel, 1-800-CONTACTS

Republican Member, Utah Senate, selected by Senate President John Valentine

Democratic Member, Utah Senate, selected by Senate Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich

Republican Member, Utah House, selected by House Speaker Greg Curtis

Democratic Member, Utah House, selected by House Minority Leader Brad King

“I look forward to working with Governor Huntsman and this dynamic group of community leaders,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “They will each bring their unique background and expertise to this project and help us proactively address any possible changes for Salt Lake City and the State of Utah’s air transportation industry.”

“This is a good opportunity for government and the private sector to address the needs of today and create a long-term vision and strategy,” said Governor Jon Huntsman. “We must ensure the future viability of the airport, which is a critical link to the global economy.”

Both the Senate President and House Speaker are looking forward to legislative participation on the Alliance. "Legislative leaders have been anxiously engaged in these issues for some time, as have many others. With new coordination between the Governor and Mayor Becker's Office we expect to be able to take full advantage of Utah's opportunities,” said President Valentine.

"Delta is an important corporate citizen that affects every Utahn and is an important economic partner to our State. We look forward to working with Delta to find solutions that benefit our State," said House Speaker Greg Curtis.

“I believe cooperation between Salt Lake City and state leaders is the most effective way for us to help our community plan for a possible Delta merger and ensure that the most positive outcome is achieved,” concluded Mayor Becker.

The first meeting of the alliance will soon be announced.

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