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ACI-NA, PANYNJ Deplore Slot Auction Plan

Airports Council International-North America and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey expressed disapproval over the Department of Transportation’s plan for slot auctions at LaGuardia (LGA), John F. Kennedy International (JFK) and Newark Liberty International.

 “Despite conflicting legal opinions on whether the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the authority to auction arrival and departure slots and unanimous opposition from the aviation industry, DOT continues to unlawfully usurp the proprietary right of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ),” says ACI-NA President Greg Principato. “Airport proprietors are in the best position to manage the use of the facilities they planned, designed, funded, built and currently operate. Slot auctions mandated by the federal government will not reduce delays or improve efficiency, competition or passenger service.”

PANYNJ has also restated its opposition to the auctions, which have also drawn fire from elected officials, airlines and passenger advocates, as well as a ruling from the U.S. Government Accountability Office that the FAA does not have the legal authority to enforce the auctions.

The port authority is concerned the auctions will lead to higher costs, which will ultimately be passed on to passengers by way of increased ticket prices of up to 12%.

ACI-NA has supported in the PANYNJ in several comments filed with the DOT and FAA. Both think the FAA should allow local airports to resolve issues of congestion and delay whenever possible. A port authority study estimates that 25 small and medium-sized aviation markets would lose service to and from New York metropolitan areas.
 
The agency wants a strategy that expands capacity by overhauling air traffic control technology, as well as improving customer service.
 
 “We believe the right way to reduce delays is to replace a 1950s-era air traffic control system with investments in 21st century technology, expanding capacity and improving customer service,” Chairman Anthony R. Coscia says. “Our Flight Delay Task Force brought together all the interested stakeholders to develop effective solutions instead of pressing 11th-hour plans that, far from relieving congestion, would only hurt airline passengers and our local and national economies.”
 
One FAA commitment drawing praise from the authority dedicates $90M if available in the future to expand capacity at JFK.

 “The FAA should deliver on its commitment to expanding capacity now, and ground this auction scheme,” says Director of Aviation William R. DeCota.

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