The Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it has
tentatively decided to grant the waiver requested by Delta Air
Lines and US Airways to allow the carriers to proceed with their
proposed slot swap transaction at Reagan Washington National
Airport (DCA) and New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA). The
proposed waiver is contingent on the requirement that the airlines
sell some of their slot interests to carriers with no or limited
service at the two airports in order to lessen the harm to
consumers that might otherwise result from the applicants'
increased dominance at DCA and LGA.
DOT issued a notice today that describes in detail the
transaction, the Department's tentative findings and its proposals
to remedy potential harm to consumers. The notice provides 30
days for the public to comment on the transaction and the
Department's tentative findings before the Department issues a
In the document granting the temporary waiver, the FAA states it
believes there will be little to no impact on the agency's ability
to manage traffic at either airport. Based on reviews of the
petition, the agency tentatively finds that much of the request
meets the public interest standards of ensuring the efficiency of
use of the navigable airspace and warrants a waiver.
The FAA also tentatively finds that it would further the
pro-competitive public interest factors to condition the waiver on
making certain slot interests available to a new entrant and
limited incumbent carriers. This waiver would require Delta and US
Airways, respectively, to divest 14 pairs of slot interests at DCA
and 20 pairs of slot interests at LGA.
The FAA is seeking comments on the waiver request, the proposed
grant of waiver, the proposed conditions to the waiver, and the
proposed divestiture remedies. The also are asking for comments on
alternative divestiture remedies. Details of the proposal and the
temporary waiver are available online.