Bypass mail air carriers are criticizing a proposal by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to shift the burden of the system's costs to the State of Alaska.
“It’s just not well thought out,” said Bob Hajdukovich, CEO of Era Alaska.
Bypass mail is a U.S. Postal Service program which allows people to skip the post office and instead use private airlines to ship their goods to rural communities, beyond the reach of the road system.
It costs the customer the same as sending a parcel from the post office – even though the actual cost of shipping is more expensive.
Rep. Issa wants to shift the state of Alaska to pay the extra costs. The USPS is losing a lot of money and lawmakers like Issa are looking for ways to save money.
But many airlines see it as yet another attack on the state, from policymakers who don’t understand Alaska’s needs.
“I think the concept cuts into the foundation of whose responsibility it is to deliver a postal product,” said Hajdukovich.
ACE Air Cargo agrees, but acknowledges the program could be more efficient.
They say they’d like to see the bypass load spread around to several different carriers, not just a select few – a way to spur more competition and lower rates.
“We think that’s the better way to go to ensure that the bypass mail process remains viable for the state and its residents,” said Steve Denton, a consultant with ACE.
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