North Carolina Newspapers

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The Great Lady bowed out February 20,
1963, 15 years to the day after making its
debut on the airline’s inaugural flight in
1948. But the DC-3, affectionally known as
the “Workhorse” or “Gooney Bird,” has re
turned to our fleet, this time as a symbol of
the solid foundation upon which our com
pany has been built.
Our “new” DC-3 was purchased last sum
mer from Basler Flight Services in Oshkosh,
Wl, and this fall, has been undergoing a
facelift. On February 9, it arrived at its new
home in Winston-Salem where it will be
maintained by GAG. The marketing depart
ment will schedule our DC-3 for airshows
and other special events as a way of
telling Piedmont’s success story.
The photo above is of an original oil paint
ing by Phoenix firtist George Greig. Bro
chures, post cards, and a special display
have been prepared, and 16 x 20 reproduc
tions will be available soon at Piedmont
Gift Shoppes.
volume 38, number 1 February '1987
DOT Counsel recommends PI for London route
Piedmont is a step closer to England thanks to
the Public Counsel of the Department of TVans-
portation (DOT). Last month, that DOT office,
which represents the public interest in interna
tional route proceedings, recommended that
Charlotte be named a gateway to London and
Piedmont the carrier to provide nonstop service
on the route.
This development is important because the
Public Counsel’s functions are to present an
unbiased assessment of the competing proposals
and to recommend the prosposal which would
best serve the public interest. The Public Coun
sel did precisely that in its 66-page brief to Ad
ministrative Law Judge William A. Kane, Jr.,
who is presiding over the case.
In the brief, the Public Counsel said:
"The evidence on Piedmont’s profitability and
growth since deregulation, its hub at Charlotte,
and the groundwork it has done in preparation
for serving London. . .reveals a healthy competi
tor and a good, solid choice for transatlantic
authority.”
“The record demonstrates that in the years fol
lowing the Airline Deregulation Act’s passage,
Piedmont has truly flourished. . .It has one of the
stronger balance sheets in the industry and the
best debt/equity ratio of all the applicants in
this proceeding. . .It is not surprising, therefore,
that the recent research reports on Piedmont by
ARGUS Research Corporation, First Boston, and
Merrill Lynch all indicate a high regard for this
carrier. . .
“The record shows that Piedmont has already
laid firm groundwork to support its service to
London in the event it is awarded authority
here.’ ’
Joe Healy, Piedmont’s senior vice president-
general counsel & secretary, said the recommen
dation can be a significant factor in the decision
making process.
“As an experienced and unbiased advocate for
the public interest, the Public Counsel’s endorse
ment can have a significant impact upon the
DOT’S I'Inal decision.’’ Healy said. “The Public
Counsel has confirmed what we believed all
along—that Piedmont has an exceptionally
strong case that demonstrates that we can best
meet the needs of the traveling and shipping
public."
Our case was bolstered by the substantial sup
port Piedmont received from the public, with
an estimated 1,100 letters being written to the
DOT endorsing Piedmont’s proposal. Of those
letters, support from 97 state and national gover-
ment officials in 10 states was received, in ad
dition to 66 formal petitions and resolutions of
support, and 195 letters from local officials such
as mayors, city and county councilmen and
heads of chambers of commerce. Unlike the ex
pressions of support for some applicants, the
Piedmont letters were thoughtful and personal
ized, not mass produced, fill-in-the-blank post
cards.
“Piedmont employees also sent hundreds of
letters urging our selection,” Dave Murchison,
assistant general counsel, said. “Each person
who wrote a letter and encouraged others to
write can take special pride in having helped our
case.’ ’
Murchison also noted that the strength of Pied
mont’s case was attributable in large measure
'
on the inside
• 1986 earnings grow to record
$72.4 million. Page 3.
• Meet CREWS, your modern man
agement system. Page 5.
• Back-to-back snowstorms bring
out Piedmont’s best. Page 7.
• PI people give us that competitive
advantage. Page 8.
to the many overtime, weekend and holiday
hours spent by employees in virtually every
department.
“Our proposal was the product of a superior
team effort. Piedmont simply outworked the
competition,” he said ^ ,
With four airlines and four cities vying for two
gateways, the t^ublic Counsel had a challenging
task of selecting the best proposals. In its open
ing summary, the Counsel designated Piedmont
and Charlotte, and Delta Air Lines and Cincin
nati, as recipients of “primary authority.” Ameri
can Airlines and Raleigh/Durham, and Pan
American World Airways and Pittsburgh, were
given “backup authority.” The summary said the
“selection of the Piedmont and Delta proposals
would engender the optimal market structure,
foster the highest level of competition in the U.S.-
London market, and sustain the greatest public
benefits over time.”
Following the summary, the Counsel presented
arguments in support of its recommendation.
North Carolina was identified as a dynamically
growing state with approximately $7 billion in
foreign investment, 65 firms from the United
Kingdom and 215 from other European nations.
Travel and tourism alone brought $4.6 billion to
the state in 1985, and each year North Carolina
has over 50 million visitors.
Yet with only two Southeast gateways to
London —Atlanta and Miami —travelers from
North Carolina and other southeastern states
have few options when flying to England. “A new
gateway in North Carolina, which is the most pop
ulous East Coast state without nonstop service to
London. . .would redress this imbalance and fill
the Southeast’s need for additional service,” the
Counsel said.
Then the Counsel stated that because North
Carolina cannot support two gateways, a decision
must be made on whose proposal for nonstop
continued on page 2
    

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