Piedmont Aviation, Inc.
Betsy Allen, Editor
Smith Reynolds Airport
Winston Salem, North Carolina
A tribute to YOU
Piedmont’s success cannot be measured
totally in terms of dollars. A balanced balance
sheet must include the contributions and ac
complishments of the employees who produce
the bottom line.
1979 will go into the books as our very
best year. It closes a dramatic decade for us.
In looking back we found the final Pied-
monitor of 1969 featured Mayor Daley and a
brass band welcoming us to Midway. In his
VFR column of that issue Turby expressed his
pride in all the Piedmont folks on hand for
Chicago’s introduction to our Company. They
were the “Mr. Piedmont’s in their many com
munities,” Turby said. Could any of them have
known, at the close of 1969, that our cities and
towns would grow like they have grown ? Would
any one of them have believed that, in just
ten years. Charleston and Miami and Pittsburgh
and Boston and Denver and Tampa and Dallas/
Ft. Worth would be our towns?
The ’70s started with record breaking pas
senger traffic. On January 4, 1970 you put more
passengers aboard our flights than you ever
had. The all-time daily high set back then was
10,725. In comparision, this year’s record day
was nearly double. Another reminder comes
with the load factors for January 4, 1970 •—•
73.18 percent for jets and 61.12 percent for
the Martins. Remember those spacious, gracious
Martin 404s? They were retired on the first
Valentine’s Day of the decade.
Ten years ago every station had its own res
center. It was 1971 when we introduced our
“new” centralized and computerized reserva
tions system. And next year we’ll start off
the ’80s with a second one, in Nashville.
We can and should be as proud as the prover
bial peacocks of what we’ve accomplished.
In looking ahead to a new decade that’s less
than two weeks away we see more unknowns
than knowns. But among the unquestionable
assets we know we have to help us face the
changes and meet the challenges are these . . .
. . . We’re a good team with a proven
track record in excellent field position
to capitalize on the best that’s yet
. . . Our pride in our past will sustain our
enthusiasm for the ’80s,
. . . Good service sincerely given is need
ed and appreciated,
... It will take a total team effort to
maintain and improve our reputa
tion for providing the best service for
. . . Piedmont’s success reflects honor on
each of us because we produce our
It is with grateful hearts that we close out
the ’70s and great anticipation that we approach
Thank-you, as Tiny Tim said, “each and
Industry slowdown predicted
The Federal Aviation Administration is
predicting a slowdown in the rapid growth of
the U. S. aviation industry and says the next
12 years will see only a modest rise.
In a 12-year forecast presented to an avia
tion conference, the FAA said it expects 541
million persons to fly on U. S. air carriers in
1991, up from an estimated 317.7 million this
This represents an annual growth rate of
4.5 percent over the last five years and a 19.1
percent jump in the 12 months that ended Sep
Expanded route structures and improved
general economic conditions combined in the
1974-1979 period to generate more air travel,
according to the study. It also said the dramatic
change this year over 1978 reflects the im
mediate effects of airline deregulation. The air
carrier growth rates projected for 1979 to 1991
are more modest, the report said.
The commuter carriers will more than
double their passenger traffic in the period,
from an estimated 9.9 million this year to 20.3
million in 1991, the report predicted.
The report also said the number of general
aviation aircraft will increase from the current
193,000 to 303,800 in the 12 years, growing at
a slightly lower rate than in the last five years.
Earnings cut in half
The airline industry in general has not had
anywhere near the successful year which Pied
mont has noted. Industry earnings in the first
nine months of 1979 were down $580 million,
or 50 percent from the same period last year,
despite a 13.5 percent gain in traffic. The Air
Transport Association attributed the drop pri
marily to the soaring costs of jet fuel — up 72
percent this year. According to Dr. George W.
James, senior vice president—-economics and
finance of the ATA, airline net earnings de
clined about $60 million in the first quarter,
another $70 million in the second quarter and
an estimated $450 million in the third quarter
— the industry’s worst financial quarter since
the 1975 recession.
Icelandic changes its name
Icelandic Airlines has changed its name to
Icelandair. The change is a result of plans made
after the 1973 merger of Icelandic and Iceland
air, a domestic Iceland and Iceland-Europe
The company said the new name was chosen
because it is better known among the Europeans
who make up a large part of the two carriers’
total market and because it has a more con
DC-3 era ends
The venerable old workhorse of the piston-
engined cargo and passenger transport fleet,
the DC-3, will not be given another lease on
commercial life, the Federal Aviation Adminis
tration has decided.
Now more than 40 years old, the twin-
engined DC-3 is a veteran of World War II
military service in all of the armies of the
world, including the USSR. After the war, it
was a mainstay of short-haul passenger and
cargo transport services in the U.S. and over
seas. Piedmont flew DC-3s from 1948 to 1963.
The latest proposal to revive the DC-3 was
an application to replace the two reciprocating
engines with three turbopropeller engines and
install a third turboprop in the nose.
FAA, at first receptive to the idea, has now
decided that this proposal “raised serious safety
questions that could be resolved only by com
plete recertification of the airplane.”
This means that a three-engine DC-3 would
be treated as a brand new airplane and have to
meet the same safety standards as other new
transports applying for an FAA-type certificate.
The FAA decision in eflTect kills the prospects
for a three-engine DC-3 prop jet, since recerti
fication is neither practical nor feasible. FAA
said, “The DC-3 was designed to airworthiness
standards in effect four decades ago, and ex
tensive redesign of the airplane would be re
quired to meet current certification require
Merger now up to Carter
The Civil Aeronautics Board has approved
and sent to President Carter for review the bid
by Pan Am to take over National Airlines in
one of the largest mergers in airline history.
The CAB order was sent to the President in
late October. It will become effective December
29, or five days after the President notifies the
Board that he will not disapprove the transfer
of National’s route certificate, w'hich excluded
Miami-London, to Pan Am.
The merger’s beginnings date back to 1978
and includes efforts by two other airlines
Texas International and Eastern. Eastern drop
ped out after an unfavorable CAB ruling, and
Texas International ended its efforts when it
agreed to sell its stock to Pan Am.
Defederalization would save tax dollars
At a time of rising transportation costs be
cause of soaring fuel prices and inflation, the
nation’s airlines have urged Congressional
action that would “defederalize” more than 70
airports and make possible an annual $1 billion
reduction in air travel passenger taxes.
The legislation, endorsed by the Senate Com
merce Committee without a negative vote
provides additional funds for air transporta
tion safety, curtails Federal intervention at
major and medium hub airports, and carries a
recommendation to reduce the current 8 per
cent passenger ticket tax to 2 percent, the Air
Transport Association said.
Congressional advocates of the airport de
federalization bill have pointed to the fact that
by the end of the current fiscal year on Septem
ber 30, 1980, the Aviation Trust Fund will have
a surplus of more than $3 billion as a result
of the exorbitant passenger ticket tax. This
surplus could grow to $9 billion in five years.
The legislation would modify and extend the
Airport and Airways Development Act, first
voted in 1970, for another five years.
At present, Federal assistance to large and
medium local airports accounts for 10 percent
of total funding requirements, with the remain
der derived from landing fees charged to users
and from other airport revenues, such as park
ing and concessions.
Congressional hearings have shown that this
Federal payment has brought with it complex
regulatory activity and bureaucratic red tape
which have added unnecessary cost and delay
to many airport improvement projects.
The bill recognizes that the money the 70
airports formerly received from the Federal
government will, in the future, be obtained
through revised fees and charges for necessary
airport improvement projects.
The following table shows the proposed tax
savings in states currently served by Piedmont:
Proposed tax savings to
1/ Passenger enplanements expressed in thous
ands and based on Civil Aeronautics Board
figures as of December 31, 1978.
2/ Tax reduction resulting from proposed decrease
in the passenger ticket tax from 8 percent
to 2 percent based on average fare of $77.00-
3/ Annual savings projected for a five-year period
assuming no traffic growth.