In Case You Missed It: CEO Of The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Says State’s Small Businesses Need Increased Access to Washington, D.C.
In case you missed it, a new op-ed published in the Los Angeles Daily News by Julian Cañete, President and CEO of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC), makes the case for why California small business owners are urging Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla to strengthen access to the nation’s capital in this year’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill.
Cañete notes that for California residents, the federal perimeter rule that restricts the number of flights that can land at or take off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) leaves Californians with extremely limited and extremely expensive access to DCA.
The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC) represents more than 815,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in the state.
Read Cañete’s entire piece in the Los Angeles Daily News HERE and below:
Julian Cañete: California Small Businesses Need Increased Access To Washington, D.C.
PUBLISHED: May 5, 2023 at 12:01 a.m.
The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC), which represents more than 815,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in the state, is urging Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla to support our local small businesses by increasing access to the nation’s capital.
California’s economy is perennially ranked among the strongest nationally and internationally. This ranking is due in large part to our small employers, which make up 99.8 percent of all businesses in the state and employ 48.5 percent of all Californians.
As the president and CEO of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, representing 120 Latino and diverse chambers and business association members and the interests of more than 815,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in California, I am proud of the work we do to provide all small business owners with the opportunities and tools they need to be successful. Now, we are urging Senators Feinstein and Padilla to support the long-term success of our small businesses by increasing access to our nation’s capital where decisions are made every day by policymakers that affect our lives and livelihood in California.
Air travel to Washington, D.C. from California is not easy because of an outdated federal regulation known as the “perimeter rule.” This little-known Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) policy, which was created in 1966, restricts the number of flights that can land at or take off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) beyond a 1,250-mile perimeter. This rule was designed to protect the growth of Dulles International Airport (IAD) and protect communities around DCA’s property from excess noise and disturbance. However, a new study found that the perimeter rule no longer supports its original objectives and is actually harming the communities and consumers that rely on DCA.
For California residents, the perimeter rule leaves us with extremely limited and extremely expensive access to DCA. In fact, there are only six to seven daily direct flights between DCA and the entire state of California, despite it being the largest state in the country, both economically and in population size. Congress has authorized updates to modernize the perimeter rule in previous FAA Reauthorizations. Per the study, adding 20 to 25 additional in- and beyond-perimeter flights at DCA will make travel to our nation’s capital more accessible for everyone, including Californians.
California’s small businesses and our communities are incredibly diverse, as are our needs and concerns. These unique voices would benefit greatly from inclusive access to our national government in Washington, D.C. It is critical we have the opportunity to meet with the policymakers who are responsible for regulating and representing us to ensure everyone’s needs and concerns are heard.
Among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the country, passengers traveling to Washington, D.C. must bear the highest air travel costs. When booking travel from the West Coast, passengers likely have to make at least one connection, making their trip longer, more expensive, and less efficient. I experience this firsthand when my team and I travel to the capital a few times each year to meet with members of the California congressional delegation. Scheduling a trip to the Washington, D.C. area takes more time and money than anywhere else we frequent.
Increasing the number of flights at DCA would resolve many of these issues by allowing for more direct travel to and from airports in California and driving down ticket prices.
In the coming months, Congress will have the opportunity to increase the number of flights at DCA when they take up the FAA Reauthorization Bill. Doing so would give the Golden State business sector greater direct access to the nation’s capital, which is especially crucial amid the growing demand for access to lawmakers from our local business communities.
The policies our lawmakers in Washington, D.C. create directly impact California’s economy and its 39 million-plus residents. It’s important that we are part of the conversation.
We’re depending on Senators Feinstein and Padilla to support increasing the number of flights into and out of DCA in the FAA Reauthorization bill this fall. Let’s help the backbone of California’s economy get to the nation’s capital faster and more affordably.
Julian Cañete is President & CEO of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.
CAA consists of diverse members from around the country and various industries, including transportation, general business groups, the small business sector, entrepreneurs and job creators, organizations focused on economic development and leaders in the civic and policy communities.
Learn more about Capital Access Alliance HERE.