05:20 AM

DFW International Airport Hails Congressional Approval Of Wright Amendment Compromise

Historic agreement benefits traveling public; resolves decades-long dispute in North Texas

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (September 29, 2006) - DFW International Airport employees and management team hailed the historic passage of the Wright Amendment Reform Act of 2006 by the U.S. Congress today, signaling an end to more than two decades of controversy in North Texas and the beginning of a new era of lower fares and airline competition for travelers across the United States. 

“This landmark vote out of both houses paves the way for implementation of the local compromise that the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth worked so hard to craft,” said Kevin Cox, chief operating officer at DFW. “We commend Mayor Miller and Mayor Moncrief along with the support of the two city councils for having the wisdom and tenacity to craft a deal that was ultimately also agreed to by American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and DFW International Airport. 

“It is equally important to remember, however, that if it were not for the unparalleled leadership of our entire Texas Congressional Delegation this compromise would never have been brought to life as it was today. The Airport is deeply, deeply indebted to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison who led the effort in the Senate along with the assistance of Senator John Cornyn. Likewise, this could not have been accomplished were it not for the bipartisan leadership in the House led by Chairman Joe Barton, Congresswoman Kay Granger and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, who were joined by Congressman Kenny Marchant, Congressman Michael Burgess, Congressman Pete Sessions, Congressman Sam Johnson, Congressman Ralph Hall and Congressman Chet Edwards. Our delegation achieved what many thought was unachievable only a few hours ago, we owe them a debt of gratitude for their unwavering support,” said Cox. 

“Only through this team effort, are we in a position to celebrate a new beginning for aviation in North Texas,” said Jeff Fegan, chief executive officer at DFW. “This compromise enacted by Congress gives our airports and airlines some certainty to plan their futures while giving the residents and businesses around Love Field some certainty about their neighborhoods. It will stimulate millions of new passengers to travel to North Texas and provide our own local residents with access to more competitive fares and more flight options, while not putting at risk the literally hundreds of thousands of jobs which are tied to the prosperity of DFW Airport. In short, it is a big win for everyone.” 

The fundamental elements of the Wright Amendment Compromise involve the following: • Provides immediate through ticketing from Love Field • Maintains Love Field as a domestic airport • Repeals the Wright Amendment rules eight years after enactment of legislation • Codifies the locally-approved gate limit of 20 gates in operation at Love Field • Mandates implementation of the compromise achieved by the local parties 

The Compromise is estimated to produce an immediate impact of two million new passengers annually in North Texas and $259 million per year in fare savings. 

Again, on behalf of the 265,000 men and women who have their jobs tied to the Airport, DFW wishes to formally acknowledge and gratefully thank the following individuals and organizations for their dedicated support of this historic legislation: 

• Dallas Mayor Laura Miller • Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief • The Dallas City Council • The Fort Worth City Council • U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas • U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas • U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis • U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth • U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas • U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville • U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell • U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas • U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Plano • U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Rockwall • U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco • American Airlines Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey and the employees of American Airlines • Southwest Airlines Executive Chairman Herb Kelleher and the employees of Southwest Airlines • DFW International Airport Board of Directors • DFW International Airport employees  

“We cannot thank the leadership in the both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate enough for working on this bi-partisan solution. In particular, the leadership of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee were instrumental in bringing this legislation to the floor. Finally, we cannot thank enough the many staffers from the Texas Congressional delegation who have literally worked day and night to get this legislation passed before recess,” added Cox. “This was truly a team effort and a monumental feat that will benefit air travelers and our community for decades to come.” 

The Wright Amendment Compromise will become law once President George W. Bush signs it.