SA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 25 Posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2310 times:
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July 2 (Bloomberg) -- Delta Air Lines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. won’t pursue a swap of takeoff and landing slots in New York and Washington under regulators’ terms, a setback to strengthening their holds on two eastern U.S. markets.
What are your opinions on this matter?
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
tharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1878 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2243 times:
I understand that the airlines will challenge the DOT's restrictions in court. So the story is not done; it just goes to the lawyers.
Can anybody give a strong legal basis for what their argument will be? Based in the letter of the relevant laws, please. Not idle opinion about what the law should be; let's see what the law actually is.
My understanding is that slot swaps at LGA are not allowed at all, unless the FAA specifically grants a waiver, awarded on a case-by-case basis. Clearly, the FAA is not compelled to always grant the waiver, or else the process would be meaningless.
So it comes down to, what sorts of restrictions can be put onto slot transactions? Can the FAA limit concentration of slots by one carrier? Can it dictate the process through which slots are divested?
I am not a lawyer, but I found the following passages in the regulatory code:
Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations PART 93
“(a) Slots do not represent a property right but represent an operating privilege subject to absolute FAA control. Slots may be withdrawn at any time to fulfill the Department’s operational needs, such as providing slots for international or essential air service operations or eliminating slots. Before withdrawing any slots under this section to provide them for international operations, essential air services or other operational needs, those slots returned under §93.224 of this part and those recalled by the agency under §93.227 will be allocated.”
“(a) Allocations are not a property interest; they are an operating privilege subject to absolute FAA control.”
This to me makes it sound like the FAA can do pretty much whatever it wants, even if it is fairly arbitrary. Perhaps that situation itself can be challenged; I don't know.