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9 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Our air taxi exemption for planeload charters did not license us to operate the small-package service. Regulations then required any airline operating aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight in excess of 12,500 pounds to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) from the CAB—our Falcons had a maximum takeoff weight of 28,660 pounds.

Application for a CPCN typically required three or four years during which the applicant had to state exactly what it was going to do. Existing certificated airlines could, and regularly did, oppose the introduction of any new service simply by maintaining it was not needed. Furthermore, the CAB had never granted any airline the broad authority we were seeking. ...

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