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Air Mail Act of 1925

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Air Mail Act of 1925
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act to encourage commercial aviation and to authorize the Postmaster General to contract for air mail service.
NicknamesKelly Act
Enacted bythe 68th United States Congress
EffectiveFebruary 2, 1925
Public lawPub.L. 68–359
Statutes at Large43 Stat. 805, Chap. 128
Titles amended39 U.S.C.:Postal Service
U.S.C. sections created39 U.S.C. ch. 54 § 5401 et seq.
Legislative history

The Air Mail Act of 1925, also known as the Kelly Act, was a key piece of legislation that intended to free the airmail from total control by the Post Office Department.[1] In short, it allowed the Postmaster General to contract private companies to carry mail.[2] The Act was sponsored by Clyde Kelly, and became legislation in February that year.[3]

The act created a bidding period for small airmail routes, setting rates and subsidies contractors would receive for flying mail. The first contracts were awarded to Colonial Air Transport, National Air Transport, Robertson Aircraft Corporation, Western Air Express and Varney Air Lines. Contractors were paid $3.00 per pound of mail for the first 1,000 miles traveled.[1] Due to the surplus aircraft available after the First World War, particularly De Haviland DH-4s, the act bolstered a nascent aviation industry in the United States.[4]

By 1927, over 2.5 million miles were traveled by US Airmail Service planes, carrying over 22 million letters.[5] Further regulation ensued quite rapidly, such as those issued by second assistant postmaster general Col. Paul Henderson, which required pilots and their aircraft to receive a certificate of airworthiness from the Post Office, and that each company needed to post at least ten thousand dollars in good faith bonds.[6]

Associated United States Federal Statutes

United States legislation authorizing aerial navigation and contract services for the transportation of United States air mail.

Date of Enactment Public Law Number U.S. Statute Citation U.S. Legislative Bill U.S. Presidential Administration
June 3, 1926 P.L. 69-331 44 Stat. 692 H.R. 11841 Calvin Coolidge
March 8, 1928 P.L. 70-107 45 Stat. 248 H.R. 7213 Calvin Coolidge
May 17, 1928 P.L. 70-410 45 Stat. 594 H.R. 8337 Calvin Coolidge
March 2, 1929 P.L. 70-904 45 Stat. 1449 H.R. 16131 Calvin Coolidge
April 29, 1930 P.L. 71-178 46 Stat. 259 H.R. 11704 Herbert C. Hoover
March 27, 1934 P.L. 73-140 48 Stat. 508 H.R. 7966 Franklin D. Roosevelt
June 12, 1934 P.L. 73-308 48 Stat. 933 S. 3170 Franklin D. Roosevelt
August 14, 1935 P.L. 74-270 49 Stat. 614 H.R. 6511 Franklin D. Roosevelt

See also

Air Mail scandal
Aviation Service Act
Aviation Act of 1917


  1. ^ a b "AIRMAIL CREATES AN INDUSTRY: Postal Act Facts". Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  2. ^ Tim Brady (2000). The American Aviation Experience: A History. SIU Press. p. 303. ISBN 978-0-8093-2371-5.
  3. ^ Alexander T. Wells (1 January 2007). Air Transportation: A Management Perspective. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-7546-7171-8.
  4. ^ Michael W. Pearson; Daniel S. Riley (15 April 2016). Foundations of Aviation Law. Routledge. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-317-13372-8.
  5. ^ Camille Allaz (March 2005). History of Air Cargo and Airmail from the 18th Century. Google Consultant. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-9548896-0-9.
  6. ^ F. Robert van der Linden (13 January 2015). Airlines and Air Mail: The Post Office and the Birth of the Commercial Aviation Industry. University Press of Kentucky. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8131-4938-7.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 March 2020, at 10:13
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