Ray LaHood Posts

Forget Those Landing Slot Auctions, Decides Sec’y Ray LaHood

It began with good intentions. In trying to lower the congestion problems at LaGuardia and JFK airports, the Transportaion Department would auction off airline’s take off and landing slots. But the idea did not go over well with airlines and industry groups, so these auctions will not take place. The Wall Street Journal reported that the rulemaking, or the devil in the details, was highly controversial, and that congestion has eased because airlines have reduced flights.

Jet Blue lead the charge to fight the idea. They said they wouldn’t be able to compete with other larger carriers for the NY slots. Delta, Continental and American Airlines officials were unanimous in their agreement that the auction had to go.

So who’s idea was this in the first place?

An IATA spokesman said this group was also pleased to see the auctions go, and pointed their fingers at the Bush administration, for hatching the unpopular scheme. The original plan called for making airlines put up the highest bid for each landing spot, but immediate lawsuits kept the auctions from moving ahead.