In Case You Missed It: Former Texas Secretary Of State, Current CAA Board Member Advocates For Additional Flights To & From Washington, D.C.

“Texans Are Counting On Senators John Cornyn & Ted Cruz To Approve Additional Flights To & From DCA.” – Rolando Pablos

In case you missed it, a new op-ed published in the San Antonio Express-News by Ronaldo Pablos, the 111th Texas Secretary of State from 2017 to 2018, a 2023 board officer for the Texas Association of Business (TAB) and Capital Access Alliance (CAA) board member, outlines the need for increased access between the Lone Star State and Washington, D.C. 

Pablos highlights Texas’ strong business and military presence, specifically pointing to the 54 Fortune 500 companies currently headquartered in Texas and “Military City USA” (San Antonio). He urges Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn to support adding more flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in this year’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill.

Read Pablos’ entire piece in the San Antonio Express-News HERE and below:

Texas Needs More Direct Flights To D.C.
San Antonio Express-News
Rolando Pablos
May 12, 2023

It’s an exciting time to be a Texan. Record numbers of people and some of the biggest, most influential companies in the world are relocating here.

With so much at stake in federal government, Texas business and community leaders need effective and efficient access to our nation’s capital more than ever. Travel to Washington, D.C., can be expensive and time-consuming. This is because of a nearly 60-year-old Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, regulation known as the “perimeter rule.” This rule limits the number of direct flights from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, or DCA, to destinations outside a 1,250-mile radius. 

Congress should improve access for all Texans who wish to make their voices heard in Washington. That’s why I’m encouraged to see the bipartisan Direct Capital Access Act introduced that would expand the number of direct flights to our nation’s capital. Our business community, as well as Texas families, school groups and other advocacy organizations would benefit greatly from this change.

Companies such as AT&T, Hewlett Packard, Oracle and Tesla have made Texas their home in recent years. Today, 54 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Texas – more than any other state. In the fourth quarter of 2022, Texas had the fastest gross domestic product growth rate in the nation. Data show the Lone Star State’s economy is the ninth-largest in the world based on GDP – larger than the economies of Canada, South Korea, Russia and Australia.

San Antonio, or “Military City, USA,” especially would benefit from improved access to Washington, D.C. Current and former service members travel to the nation’s capital regularly to meet top Department of Defense officials at the Pentagon and surrounding military installations. Given our strong military community, San Antonio is also a primary location for cybersecurity companies, with the second-largest concentration of professionals in this area in the country. 

The perimeter rule is an unnecessary travel obstacle for Texans and does not meet the demand for today’s market. That’s why I am proud to be a founding board member of the Capital Access Alliance – a diverse coalition of business groups, entrepreneurs and job creators that is asking members of Congress to remove this artificial barrier to access and authorize 20 to 25 more in- and beyond-perimeter flights at DCA when they vote on the FAA reauthorization bill this fall. 

Texans are counting on Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to approve additional flights to and from DCA, and I urge them to play an active role in securing support among their colleagues. Doing so would better serve Texas’ growing business community and connect us with our leaders in Washington, D.C., who shape policies that impact our workplaces, employees and our communities.

Rolando Pablos served as the 111th Texas secretary of state from 2017 to 2018. He is a 2023 board officer for the Texas Association of Business and CAA board member.

About CAA

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.