Secretary Anthony Foxx
Houston Metroplex Press Event
Houston, TX • June 18, 2014
Remarks as prepared for delivery
Thanks so much, Michael [Huerta], for the introduction.
I also have to thank Mario Diaz, the Director of the Houston Airport System. Thank you for having us – and for all your work here.
They say everything is bigger in Texas. And it’s true because it took a truly huge effort to make today, the technology we’re celebrating, possible.
Everyone had a say and everyone worked together on this project: industry and labor… airlines… pilots… air traffic controllers… the professionals who operate our airports… the local community. Many of them are here today.
And at a time of great partisanship, even Republicans and Democrats are coming together to support this NextGen technology.
Because all of us know that – even though this infrastructure may be largely invisible – its effects are not. Thanks to the satellite-based procedures our Houston team has put in place here, we estimate we’re going to shave over half-a-million miles off flight plans around the area – enough to reach the moon three times.
And because of that, we can also save three million gallons of fuel and cut carbon emissions to the tune of 31,000 metric tons.
So we may call this technology NextGen – but we don’t have to wait until the next generation to see it work. It’s working now. Working for pilots, for passengers, for companies, and for the environment, too.
So I want to thank our entire team for their work – and for their spirit of collaboration in moving this project forward.
I should also point out: I’m impressed not just by how well this team completed this project – but by how quickly. A few years ago, the President identified this project as one that was nationally significant – and one that should be accelerated given its importance to the economy.
And our team here made that happen against the odds.
They worked on this project through sequestration and a government shutdown, and still completed it in just two-and-a-half years.
So, again, congratulations to all.
Because of what we’ve done here, today we can – and are – pointing at the Houston Metroplex. We can say to the rest of our airports – and the rest of the country – “Look at this Houston team. They’re the model to follow.”
So I want to thank everyone again for their work.
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