Competition Among the Friendly Skies
While everyone is watching the presidential race the current administration is trying to push through an experiment that could reduce flight delays around the nation.
Bush administration officials are racing to get the plan in place before they leave office in three months; airlines and airports are sprinting to court to stop them.
Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced final rules Thursday to begin auctioning takeoff and landing “slots” at the three major New York-area airports: John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark-Liberty. Under her plan, the auction winners would be announced Jan. 12, about a week before George W. Bush leaves office.
Federal authorities are focused on New York’s airspace because roughly two-thirds of flight delays around the country are caused by backups at those airports.
Proponents of the experiment feel that along with unclogging skies it will reduce airfares and allow for small businesses to be able to compete.
AP Google, 9 October 08
Critics think it will have the opposite effect.
“We’re strongly opposed to the auction,” said Bill DeCota, the Port Authority’s director of aviation. “Despite this alleged process of taking broad public input, the DOT and the Federal Aviation Administration continue to ignore all the concerns expressed by us and the people who have joined us. They’ve taken action that we don’t believe will do anything to reduce congestion.”