United States airlines have orders or options to buy a record 2,181 jet aircraft worth $90 billion, according to the Air Transport Association. ATA President Robert J. Aaronson notes that airports have not kept pace with the demand for air travel. ``In ordering more than 2,000 quieter, more fuel-efficient jets, airlines are exhibiting the courage this country needs to move ahead,'' he said in a speech in Atlanta.

``We now need equally bold initiatives from Congress and the administration to get something done about the outmoded airways and airport system that is slowing our economy by failing to meet the growing needs of air travelers and shippers.''

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