VPA Engages Washington on “How to Fix Flying”

The Vanderbilt Policy Accelerator for Political Economy and Regulation (VPA) released the paper “How to Fix Flying: A New Approach to Regulating the Airline Industry” in partnership with the American Economic Liberties Project (AELP) late last month. The VPA team followed up the release with a trip to Washington, DC, to engage policymakers, administrators, the press, and other decisionmakers and thought leaders.

Co-authored by Ganesh Sitaraman, New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair in Law at Vanderbilt Law School and Founding Director of VPA, and William J. McGee, Senior Fellow for Aviation and Travel at the American AELP, “How to Fix Flying” offers a menu of options for policymakers to reform and structurally regulate air travel and address issues with the airline industry that are all too familiar to fliers. The paper has been covered in The New York Times and Washington Post.

“Air travel in the United States suffers from serious problems. For passengers, the flying experience has become a source of frustration — from smaller seats and junk fees to delays and cancellations,” said Sitaraman. “It doesn’t have to be this way. Fixing the problems with flying is fundamentally a question of public policy, because policy choices determine what the airlines do, the quality of the flying experience, and the structure of the industry itself.”

The VPA and AELP co-hosted an evening reception on January 30 at the National Press Club, with Sitaraman and McGee discussing their paper with Bharat Ramamurti, former Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. Notable attendees included Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan. Sitaraman and McGee presented to more than 40 congressional staffers at a briefing the following day.

The VPA also met with Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other senior DOT/Federal Aviation Administration staff; White House staff; and offices of House and Senate members.

VPA is part of Discovery Vanderbilt, a groundbreaking initiative to bolster innovative research and education at Vanderbilt.

The mission of the Vanderbilt Policy Accelerator for Political Economy and Regulation is to swiftly develop and advance cutting-edge research, education, and policy proposals at a pace that aligns with the urgency of today’s challenges.

To learn more, visit Vanderbilt Policy Accelerator.