Airports Council International – North America has thrown its support behind the Government Accountability Organization General Counsel opinion stating that the Federal Aviation Administration does not have the authority to auction arrival and departure slots at Newark Liberty International (EWR).
The opinion also stated that the FAA is not authorized to retain and use auction proceeds as proposed in pending rulemaking proposals for LaGuardia (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International (JFK).
“We are pleased that the GAO decision vindicated the airport position that FAA has no statutory authority to force the slot auctions, which are universally opposed by the airport industry,” said Greg Principato, president of ACI-NA. “FAA should focus on working collaboratively with the PANYNJ to develop and implement a reasonable and effective program to reduce passenger delays and congestion.”
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey also voiced its support of the ruling.
“We applaud the GAO and remain firmly committed to continuing to work with airlines, elected officials and passenger advocates to stop the USDOT and FAA’s proposal,” PANYNJ says in a statement. “It’s wrong to raise prices for everyone by implementing an untested and unauthorized scheme, particularly in this economy.
“The port authority’s task force recommended the correct approach – increasing capacity and reducing delays while improving customer service – and we’ll keep fighting for those needed changes until the federal government makes them a reality for passengers.”