US AIRWAYS AND UNITED AIRLINES IN BATTLE OVER EXTRA FLIGHTS TO REAGAN AIRPORT

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 24, 2011 15:39

US AIRWAYS AND UNITED AIRLINES IN BATTLE OVER EXTRA FLIGHTS TO REAGAN AIRPORT

Airways is fighting for the lion’s share of extra flights being allowed to fly between West Coast cities and northern Virginia’s Reagan National Airport on the basis that it already operates more than 40% of flights out of the Virginia airport. United Airlines however is fighting the motion in Congress as it is worried such a move could siphon off long haul flights from Dulles International airport.

A decision on whether to allow more non-stop flights to the airport will be discussed by federal lawmakers on the Hill who are beginning to draft a wide-ranging aviation bill that would fund the Federal Aviation Administration and kick-start key infrastructure projects.

Republican John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said he believes the long-delayed bill has its best shot in years of passage but the key will be resolving the Reagan slots debate.

“You almost have a fourth of the population in the U.S. living in California. They can’t fly nonstop” from San Diego or San Francisco to Reagan, said C.A. Howlett, senior vice president of public affairs for US Airways. “That’s crazy.”

Congress rules set a cap on overall flights at the airport and required them to operate within a 1,250-mile perimeter. The rules were put in place in the 1980s in order to allow Dulles, a fledgling airport to develop into the region’s main international airport, and to limit aircraft noise and pollution in residential neighborhoods near Reagan.

Today, Reagan has 24 nonstop flights to West Coast cities, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver and Seattle, but airlines say there is demand for much more.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 24, 2011 15:39
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