With the inauguration of President Warren G. Harding in March 1921, a change in Air Mail administration follows. Otto Praeger has been replaced with Edward H. Shaughnessy and his superior, Postmaster General Will H. Hays. The change is not just in personnel but in attitude as well.
The focus is now less on public attention and more on efficiency and safety. Six airstrips have closed, three routes have shut down and there has been a cut in the number of Air Mail employees, from 512 to 418. The maintenance crew is now centralized and works out of Maywood, Illinois.
Mail Crosses the Country!
Although all of this does not sound like progress, it really is. By taking prudent, yet secure steps, the Air Mail is becoming more reliable. The most noticeable change is the relationship between the Post Master General and the pilots. Our opinions, for the first time, count as to how the service should run.
We have all been assigned our own planes and we are consulted on the development of instrumentation. We also have a say in the safety of weather conditions. All of this has made the pilots feel like more of the central core of the Air Mail.