The White House and Congress have selected a broad and diverse group of experts to concoct a plan within 90 days for reviving the nation's aviation industry.
The 15 members of the commission, whose names were released late Thursday, come from an array of specialties not necessarily tied to the aviation industry. Additionally, some of them have potentially conflicting agendas.For example, Daniel M. Kasper, a Boston-based consultant and an ardent deregulator, will be serving with J. Randolph Babbitt, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, whose group opposes further deregulation and lobbied hard to keep Mr. Kasper from getting a job in the Clinton administration.
Similarly, Robert F. Daniell, chief executive of United Technologies Corp., whose Pratt & Whitney aircraft engine unit plans to lay off 10,000 workers, is serving on the committee, as is John M. Peterpaul, vice president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, whose members will bear the brunt of the layoffs.
One Washington insider said the internal conflicts may be one of several problems that Gerald F. Baliles, the commission's chairman, will have to deal with.
"The problem here is that you have several push-me, pull-you scenarios, and who knows what kind of consensus can be shaped from it," the official said.
The airline industry had hoped that two of its traditional adversaries - airport noise activists and local airport managers - would not be represented. They got their wish. Noise groups were shut out from the list, and Charles "Chip" M. Barclay, president of the American Association of Airport Executives, was named as the sole airport representative.
Of the 15 voting and 11 non-voting members, only Herbert D. Kelleher, chief executive of Southwest Airlines, and Gina F. Thomas, managing attorney for international and regulatory affairs at Federal Express Corp., represent the airlines. In addition, no members represent the large airframe manufacturers, although Boeing Co. pushed hard for the commission's creation. The choice of Mr. Daniell was the closest that segment of the industry came to representation.
Aerospace industry executives were tight-lipped about the commission's makeup.
"We look forward to working with the commission," said Robert E. Robeson Jr., vice president of civil aviation for the Aerospace Industries Association.
The Air Transport Association, which represents the airline industry that the commission is supposed to help fix, waxed optimistic about the
"I'm upbeat about it," said Edward A. Merlis, the association's senior vice president of external affairs. "There are a lot of good people in this group."
Privately, executives at the trade group said they were pleasantly surprised that two airline officials were named.
"We were expecting only one," a source inside the association said.
An airline executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, speculated that the commission's choices were no accident.
"There was a real sense that airline and aircraft executives were too close to the industry to be impartial," the source said. "There's also this feeling that they are largely responsible for the mess the industry is in today, and that the less input they have, the better."
Other members of the commission include Felix Rohatyn, the investment banker widely credited for rescuing New York City from bankruptcy in the mid-1970s; Sylvia A. de Leon, a partner in the law firm of Akin, Gump, whose clients include American Airlines; John E. Robson, former chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board; and Russell W. Meyer, chief executive of Cessna Aircraft Co.
The chairman, Mr. Baliles, is a former governor of Virginia and now a partner in a Richmond law firm that specializes in international trade issues.
"It's kind of an interesting mix," Mr. Robeson said of the aerospace trade group.