Air Transport World

A changing of the guard. (Walt Coleman to head the Regional Airline Association)

Walt Coleman has changed acronyms, from ATA to RAA. The former VP-operations for the Air Transport Association now heads up the Regional Airline Association. While RAA is much smaller, Coleman's responsibilities have increased considerably, as he will see at this month's fall conclave in Orlando.

In a recent interview, Coleman, 54, told ATW of his plan to work the halls of Congress and FAA about the issues the he deems important. "I intend to get involved up on [Capitol] Hill. I will be wearing the lobbying hat, simply because I'm the members' representative in Washington," he says. "I think it's important that our story get told and told well.

"Regional airlines are located in congressional districts that the Senators and Congressmen represent. So there needs to be an appreciation among the congressional folks of what we do."

Coleman has worked for ATA since 1981. The former Pan Am and U.S. Navy pilot has accumulated 4,000 hr. of flight time. Prior to joining ATA, he was director of Air Carrier Scheduling Committees Reservation Center in Washington. Flight and duty-time regulations for flight attendants, drug and alcohol-testing levels, flying disabled passengers, airport access and requirements for additional safety-related devices on commuter airliners will be among the main issues Coleman will cover with key members of Congress in coming months. He already has conferred with FAA Administrator Thomas Richards on these topics. …

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