Book Review: Commuter Airlines of the United States (R.E.G. Davies and I.E. Quastler) : AVH

Billed as the first comprehensive history of commuter airlines, this thoroughly researched book chronicles the changing fortunesof what has become a major segment of the U.S. transportation industry. From their halting beginnings in the 1920s as highlyindividualistic entrepreneurships to their role today as major movers in the transportation business, the commuter airlines wereat different times called air taxis, feeder lines, regional airlines and third-level carriers.

The changing fortunes of these sometimes maverick providers of air transportation are chronicled through shifting economicsituations, types of aircraft and frequent bouts with a federal government that has always tried to force them into the sameregulatory category as major air carriers. This industry has its own pioneers, and 22 of the most significant ones are profiled.Appendices list details of more than 1,000 commuter airlines, and a “finder” index can be used to search for company data.

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