Thella F. Bowens, president and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, has been appointed to a new federal committee: the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee.
The committee, which was established in March and will have its first meeting May 25 in Washington, D.C., will provide information, advice and recommendations to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on ensuring the competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry and its capacity to address the evolving transportation needs, challenges and opportunities of the U.S. and global economies.
“Aviation is essential to our nation’s economy and our ability to compete in international commerce,” LaHood says. “This committee, which represents a broad cross-section of the aviation community, will begin the important conversation about how to ensure the industry remains vital and competitive.”
The committee will meet five times over the next year and then issue its recommendations to LaHood. It will focus on five primary areas: ensuring aviation safety, ensuring a world-class aviation work force, balancing the industry’s competitiveness and viability; securing stable funding for aviation systems; and addressing environmental challenges and solutions.
Bowens has been the president and CEO of the airport authority since 2003. She is also the secretary/treasurer of the board of Airports Council International-North America and serves on the American Association of Airport Executives Policy Review committee. She is also a member of the boards of the San Diego World Trade Center, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of San Diego Campaign Cabinet Team. She has 35 years of experience in public administration, with the past 22 in the aviation field.
The committee grew out of a forum in November regarding the future of the U.S. aviation industry; members selected to be on the committee represent airlines, airports, labor, manufacturers, environment, finance, academia, consumer interests and general aviation stakeholders. It will be chaired by Susan Kurland, assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
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