Legislature(2001 - 2002)

02/12/2002 04:05 PM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HJR 37-ALASKA AIRLINES 70TH ANNIVERSARY                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR KOTT announced  that the only order of  business before the                                                               
committee would be HOUSE JOINT  RESOLUTION NO. 37, Congratulating                                                               
Alaska Airlines on its 70th Anniversary.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0011                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JUDY   OHMER,  Staff   to  Representative   Kott,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, testified  on behalf of the  sponsor, Representative                                                               
Kott.  She  explained that HJR 37 is  a congratulatory resolution                                                               
to honor  Alaska Airlines on  its 70th  year of service.   Alaska                                                               
Airlines  has  been a  vital  part  of the  state's  development.                                                               
[Much  of Alaska  Airlines' importance]  is related  to the  fact                                                               
that  it connects  people  and communities  of  remote and  rural                                                               
Alaska to other  parts of the state  as well as the  Lower 48 and                                                               
some international destinations.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  OHMER pointed  out that  Alaska Airlines  has an  impressive                                                               
history  in both  Alaska  and  other parts  of  the  world.   The                                                               
airline  began  with  a single-engined,  three-passenger  Stinson                                                               
from which  they have  developed into a  fleet of  airplanes that                                                               
serve over 80  different airports.  Alaska Airlines  says that it                                                               
will serve  84 airports by  April.   Ms. Ohmer noted  that Alaska                                                               
Airlines  was  crucial  in  the  construction  of  the  pipeline.                                                               
Furthermore, Alaska  Airlines was part  of the Berlin  Airlift at                                                               
the close  of World War II.   The airline took  part in Operation                                                               
Magic Carpet,  during which 40,000  Yemenite Jews  were airlifted                                                               
into  Israel after  World  War II.   This  was  a very  dangerous                                                               
operation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. OHMER noted that history  illustrates that Alaska Airlines is                                                               
a pioneer in  the area of superior customer  service and emerging                                                               
technology.   Some of the  [cutting edge] technology  that Alaska                                                               
Airlines is using is the  Global Positioning System (GPS) and the                                                               
Head-Up  Guidance  System  (HGS),  as  well as  the  use  of  the                                                               
Internet to  book travel and  sell tickets.  Alaska  Airlines was                                                               
the  first airline  to  use the  Internet  in the  aforementioned                                                               
manner.   Alaska  Airlines  was  also the  first  airline to  use                                                               
electronic ticketing and check-in.   Moreover, Alaska Airlines is                                                               
the  first airline  authorized to  land jets  on gravel  runways.                                                               
With  their  current  equipment,  Alaska Airlines  can  take  off                                                               
runways that are [only] 600 feet.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  OHMER  informed  the   committee  that  commercial  aviation                                                               
history  always includes  a  section on  an  airline in  Alaska's                                                               
hinterland that  continued to survive  and thrive when  the giant                                                               
[airlines] disappeared.   Ms. Ohmer  related her belief  that the                                                               
spirit  of Alaska  Airlines mirrors  that of  Alaska in  that the                                                               
"can do"  attitude and "neighbors helping  neighbors" attitude is                                                               
a fact  of life.   Ms. Ohmer related  a few stories  about Alaska                                                               
Airlines, and  noted that Alaska  Airlines' colorful  history can                                                               
be pulled  up on  their website.   She  highlighted the  skill of                                                               
Alaska  Airlines by  pointing out  that  recently Delta  Airlines                                                               
asked Alaska Airlines to carry in the Olympic flame.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0116                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. OHMER pointed  out that HJR 37 carries no  fiscal impact.  In                                                               
regard to why this isn't  a citation, she related [the sponsor's]                                                               
belief that this  is the most symbolic way  to acknowledge Alaska                                                               
Airlines and illustrate appreciation for it.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVES PORTER  and KOTT noted that  their daughters work                                                               
for Alaska Airlines.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0132                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  moved to report  HJR 37 out  of committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and  the accompanying zero fiscal                                                               
note.   There being no  objection, HJR  37 was reported  from the                                                               
House Rules Standing Committee.                                                                                                 

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