National Air Transportation System: Analysis Of Defense Community Airlift Policy And Requirements

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Business Administration


National strategic airlift policy was examined in light of the increased importance of strategic military mobility and recent changes in the environment within which the Department of Defense and airline members of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) must operate. The strategic airlift requirements of the Department of Defense were quantified and compared to the current and near-term projected capability of the combined fleets of the Military Airlift Command (MAC) and the Civil Reserve Air Fleet. The existance of a significant shortfall was confirmed. The historical performance of current policy, which relies upon peacetime airlift contracts to secure airline commitment to wartime operations was analyzed and used to assess future performance of extant policy. The historical foundations of current policy were also examined in light of contemporary laws, technological changes and commercial and military conditions. The current and potential roles of MAC and CRAF in providing strategic airlift capability were also examined, as were alternative means of securing airline participation in CRAF. The author concludes that increased reliance should be placed on CRAF to provide wartime strategic airlift and that profit-oriented incentives should replace peacetime airlift contracts as the primary incentive to participation in CRAF. Compatible changes in subordinate and implementing policies were also recommended.



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