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Politics of Travel: Elections, Spoken Word and Taxes, oh and Oprah!

My travel and event schedule is back and even expanded compared to 2018! I feel like I have been obligatory Shane youth song and it has been exhilarating!

Earlier this month, I was working the GBTA Canada Conference. Much like the Europe Conference in December, the main stage and breakouts all featured thought provoking sessions that included spoken word rap all of which tied back to travel. Additionally, GBTA continues to lean in hard on sustainable travel and announced a new partnership to advance net carbon zero goals.

GOODBYE BLUE: Canadians are traveling again! But more passengers mean longer delays. Recent reports show wait times up to 90 minutes to get to Customs.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority said last week that staffing challenges at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) were contributing to long lines at Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

GBTA Canada is looking into several suggestions, including the urging the government to provide predictability for travelers looking to depart and arrive at Canada’s airports, including, adequate resourcing for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) and Service Canada Passport Offices. GBTA is also pushing for adequate staffing of the U.S. side of the border.

9/11 SECURITY FEE: This week Congress held a hearing on TSA’s 2023 Budget Request. Included in the request is $871 million pay increase that is “commensurate with their counterparts on the general schedule pay scale.”

GBTA supports the request to help cover the increase by doing away with the longstanding practice of diverting TSA security-fee revenues collected as part of an airplane ticket to use for deficit reduction. This diversion has led to an estimated $1 billion or more funneled away from aviation security initiatives to help reduce the country’s amount of deficit spending.

One of the issues for June’s Legislative Summit will be requesting members of Congress support the end of the diversion by cosponsoring legislation.

Action: Send an email to your member of Congress today asking them to support the legislation.

ONE LOVE: This week, GBTA renewed its call for a Common, Consistent Approach across Member States to the Extension of the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Included in the manifesto is acknowledgment that Travel restrictions have proven to be ineffective in stopping the spread of the virus, at most postponing by a few days a new wave of infection, which is also supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). And the verification of EUDCC shall not be used as a reason to impose additional restrictions to the freedom of movement such as the temporary reintroduction of controls at internal borders.

Legislative Summit attendees will also be amplifying this message that stopping travel doesn’t stop COVID and that testing requirements for air travel to the U.S. has long outlived its purpose.

ELECTIONS: This week, all GBTA active members received an email with a personalized link to nominate someone for the Board of Directors. The open GBTA Board of Directors positions in the 2022 election are two (2) At Large Director Direct seats for a term of two (2) years and one (1) At Large Director Allied seat for a term of two (2) years.

The nomination period is open to June 2, 5 PM ET. If you have any questions about the online nomination process, please contact me, Shane Downey at [email protected] or Election Services Corp. by email at [email protected] or call toll-free +1 866 720 HELP (4357).

EVERYBODY NEEDS LOVE: This week I was at the very unique mentor program Ladders Summit in Nashville. Ladders has been in place for several years, but I hadn’t been exposed to it until 2019. I have been so impressed working with volunteers and seeing the ideas and relationships formed. The ideas and discussions were inspiring and forward thinking. #Ladderup #ladderscreatesleaders . I encourage all to look into this program that is free to GBTA members. In today’s work environment, keeping your employees engaged and learning is the key to retention.

I hope to see you in DC for the GBTA U.S. Legislative Summit in June!


P.S. tell your friends to sign up here


Shane Downey
Vice President, Government & Community Relations
[email protected]
(O) 703 236-1131
(C) 703 459-7425