Mon, May 19, 2008
May Expresses Group's 'Frustration'
As expected, the Air Transport Association of America --
industry trade group and lobbying organization for most US airlines
-- has issued a statement opposing the Department of
Transportation's proposed slot auction program for New York area
"Our members and their passengers are frustrated by the DOT's
continued fixation on auctions, despite the overwhelming rejection
by passengers, airlines and airports to such an experiment. These
ill-conceived and unlawful proposals are driven by ideology and
will not reduce congestion or flight delays," said ATA President
and CEO James C. May. "Instead of focusing on modernizing and
expanding the airspace infrastructure as the traveling and shipping
public expects, the government seeks to curb that demand by making
it more costly to fly. We must work to expand, not limit, capacity.
This experiment will penalize the public."
As ANN reported, DOT
Secretary Mary Peters announced three new measures Friday
addressing delays at the three major New York-area airports. One of
those proposals involves a plan to auction off landing slots at JFK
International and Newark International.
The department proposes giving airlines already serving the
airports up to 20 slots per day, and auctioning the rest over 10
years. After the decade of protection for existing airline
investments ended, presumably DOT would broaden the auction. Peters
said the airlines "...would receive a 10-year interest in some of
the world’s most valuable aviation assets, free of charge,
free of question and free of hassle."
She added other airlines would get a chance to compete in an
attractive aviation market... but to do so they would have to make
investments that benefit every existing carrier.
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