05:18 AM

Mayors and City Attorneys of Dallas and Fort Worth, and DFW International Airport Chairmen Send Letters to Congress Urging Passage of Wright Amendment Compromise

Airports Council International Also Offers Support: Pro-Competitive Bill Offers Immediate Lower Fares to Consumers

DFW International Airport (September 28, 2006) - In a final push to urge approval of the local compromise on the Wright Amendment, the Mayors and City Attorneys of Dallas and Fort Worth sent a letter to Congress today directly answering recent detractors of the agreement. That letter accompanies correspondence from DFW International Airport Board Chairman Jan Collmer and 11 former DFW board chairmen that confirms an immediate $259 million per year in fare savings. 

Earlier this week, Airports Council International – North America (ACINA), which represents 180 U.S. and Canadian airports, also urged Congress to pass the local compromise. 

The Cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, joined by American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and DFW forged a compromise on July 11 that would effectively end the Wright Amendment, lowering fares for North Texas passengers and travelers nationwide while spurring new competition in the marketplace. Currently H.R. 5830 and S. 3661 are pending in Congress, and are supported by the entire North Texas Congressional delegation and U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn. 

The letter from Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, Dallas City Attorney Tom Perkins, Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief and Fort Worth City Attorney David Yett describes the compromise as “a sensible solution to a decades-old problem” and directly answered recent critics of the legislation. 

The proposed legislation is the result of a local government initiative to forge a solution to a series of pressing and inter-related regional transportation issues,” the letter states. ”The cities of Dallas and Fort Worth spearheaded this effort not only to repeal the Wright Amendment and thereby improve air competition, but simultaneously to improve the regional transportation infrastructure serving Dallas and Fort Worth, to stimulate to the greatest extent possible regional economic growth, and to address community concerns about the noise, traffic, and air pollution associated with increased service at these airports. “ 

The second letter from DFW Board Chairman Collmer and former Chairmen states, “Despite recent misguided attempts to label this legislation anti-competitive, the fundamental objective of the legislation is to open the North Texas market to more competition in air transportation, not to further restrict it. And a recent economic analysis confirms that consumers of air transportation services will, in fact, benefit substantially and immediately from the terms of the Wright Amendment compromise.” 

“Recently, a few parties have expressed concerns with the compromise,” said Dallas Mayor Laura Miller. “The fact of the matter is this agreement is well balanced and delicately crafted designed to enhance competition not only in North Texas, but for those who want to fly into and out of the North Texas area. This is a good piece of legislation and I strongly encourage everyone to get behind our Texas delegation and the Congressional leadership to get this passed now—it is pro-competition and pro-consumer.” 

“This historic agreement between our two cities deserves to be passed by Congress as soon as possible,” says Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief. ”It is a clear win for our respective communities and the traveling public. Competition and choice serve everyone and this legislation accomplishes that.” 

“It’s clear that all parties involved are firmly committed to seeing this local compromise become law and offer our local citizens and air travelers around the country lower fares and better flight options,” said Collmer.” We believe there is time for Congress to act and do the right thing on behalf of North Texas and the flying public.” 

The ACI-NA letter, signed by Chairman Steve Grossman and President Greg Principato, said the organization “has been a firm supporter of airports’ proprietary rights including the ability to lease, manage, allocate traffic within an airport system, and efficiently use airport infrastructure.” It reminded lawmakers that Congress had asked the Cities of Dallas and Fort Worth to work on a local compromise and the parties had succeeded.