But FAA Approval Needed Before It Goes Into Effect
It's in the FAA's hand
now. Yes, we shudder a little at that statement, too... but there's
little reason for the agency to put a stop to a landmark agreement
calling for an end to the Wright Amendment in North Texas.
Two weeks after the bill received
congressional approval, President Bush signed the
agreement into law Friday. The deal calls for an end to all Wright
Amendment restrictions on flights from Love Field in Dallas in
Until then, carriers flying from the downtown Dallas airport --
most notably Southwest Airlines, which is based at Love -- will be
allowed to sell "through-tickets" to destinations beyond the
eight-state perimeter currently enforced under the 27-year-old
With those tickets, passengers won't have to get onboard a
second aircraft to travel from, say, Dallas to Las Vegas...
although their plane WILL have to stop in a Wright state first.
"We have to view Dallas with all new eyes," said Southwest
spokeswoman Beth Harbin. "We'll be treating it like a new city. We
don't know what the demand is going to look like without the Wright
The compromise agreement --
announced in June, and sponsored by Southwest, American, executives
at DFW Airport, and officials with both Dallas and Fort Worth --
also caps the maximum number of gates at Love to 20, with Southwest
controlling 16 of those.
"It has been a long process, but North Texas consumers will
benefit from more competition and significantly reduced airfares,"
US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who sponsored the bill, said in a
Everyone is speaking as though the agreement has already
begun... but final approval for the deal rests with the FAA,
which has to review whether the increased traffic likely to come
from the deal will cause any safety issues.
Fortunately for proponents of the agreement, the FAA has already
testified before Congress that any new operations at Love can be
handled without a problem... so it's likely the agreement will
become reality before very much longer.