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Burnley Assumes New Duties as Secretary of Transportation

December 04, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — James H. Burnley IV was sworn in as secretary of transportation Thursday, and President Reagan exhorted him to continue the Administration's program "to return control to the private sector."

"Jim shares my vision of a transportation policy that will remove public barriers to the private sector so it can provide the transportation service that America needs," Reagan said at a brief White House ceremony.

"Much has been done to continue deregulation of these industries, particularly in the airline, railroad and trucking industries, but there is even more to be done in the next 14 months to return control to the private sector."

Burnley was sworn in by Judge Kenneth Starr in the Roosevelt Room down the hall from the Oval Office.

Burnley, in his response to the President's remarks, said: "America's economy and its ability to compete in world markets depend on a dynamic and growing transportation industry."

Earlier, Burnley said the Transportation Department will hire more than 1,000 additional air traffic controllers if Congress approves the department's request for a $1-billion increase for aviation.

Shortly before he was sworn in, Burnley said the Federal Aviation Administration may need more flexibility to deal with "an explosion in the number of people who want to fly."

Burnley, interviewed on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America," said his priorities as secretary will be air safety and giving the federal government the ability to keep up with growth in the transportation industry.

Burnley, whose nomination was approved 74 to 0 by the Senate on Monday despite criticism of his often-confrontational style, had been deputy transportation secretary to Elizabeth Hanford Dole for four years. Dole resigned Oct. 1 from the $99,500-a-year Cabinet post to work on the presidential campaign of her husband, Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.).

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