Topic Author
Posts: 2504
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 3:11 am

House & Senate Move To Free O'Hare!

Sat Mar 04, 2000 6:39 am

From the Chicago Tribune, front page MARCH 3, 2000:

House, Senate move to scrap O'Hare flight cap
By Mike Dorning

WASHINGTON-House and Senate negotiators have forged an agreement that would end federal limits on takeoffs and landings at O'Hare International Airport, likely leading to heavier air traffic at the facility, downward pressure on ticket prices and more jet noise for neighboring suburbs.
The agreement, which congressional sources expect to be signed Friday, calls for a phase-out of the controls by July 1, 2002, participants in the talks said Thursday.
Once the deal is approved by Congress and signed by President Clinton, air traffic at O'Hare could begin rising as soon as May 1, when international flights and service to smaller communities would be exempted from the limits.

The article goes on to give various quotes from interviews and the obvious 2-sided conflict. More noise/more flights.
I'm in favor of the change and am glad to see ORD may be resuming her title of world's busiest.
Your opinions?
Posts: 6916
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: House & Senate Move To Free O'Hare!

Sat Mar 04, 2000 8:47 am

Personally, I think it's a good move, but maybe they should pull a LHR type thing, limiting airlines except for pretty much AA and UA from slots there. Maybe they should be expanding MDW for some flights.


RE: Sorry Guys

Sat Mar 04, 2000 8:53 am

Maybe next year....those politicans!

Filed at 6:03 p.m. EST

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Last-minute objections from the Senate have
again thwarted an agreement, months in the making, on a three-year, $40
billion aviation bill that includes a raise in passenger taxes, more money
for small airports and more flights out of several of the nation's busiest

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, accused the House of altering the
compromise to add a new parliamentary barrier to funding aviation
programs at levels below what the Aviation Trust Fund take in every

Stevens, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee that
determines spending levels every year, said he was ``really pained'' and
that eight or nine senators would join him in opposing the compromise.
``It's untenable for many of us that it was rewritten after an agreement
had been reached.''

The House has given its approval to the massive bill to authorize Federal
Aviation Administration safety, building and operating programs and
House sources said the language that Stevens objected to had been
carefully worked out among congressional leaders.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., who mediated differences
between the House and the Senate on the FAA bill, said he had hoped to
bring the compromise to the Senate floor on Tuesday or Wednesday, but
the Stevens holdout has placed the bill ``in jeopardy.''

Still, there was momentum for reaching a deal. Transportation Secretary
Rodney Slater said in a statement that he was pleased the negotiators
were close and said the bill was a ``giant step'' toward improving aviation
safety and efficiency, expanding capacity, enhancing competition and
improving rural air service.

Federal funds for new airport projects have been held up since the fiscal
year began last Oct. 1 because the two chambers were unable to
reconcile differences in the amount of funding and the future of the
Aviation Trust Fund, which takes in some $10 billion a year in user fees.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Bud Shuster, R-Pa., and his
House allies wanted to remove the trust fund from the general budget,
ensuring that all the money coming into the fund goes to aviation

The Senate wouldn't go along with that, but in a compromise announced
earlier this week the two sides agreed that annual appropriations for
aviation projects would at least equal revenues and interest from the trust

Aviation spending in the coming fiscal year would be $12.7 billion, up
$2.7 billion from this year.

They also agreed that airports would be allowed to increase their
passenger taxes, called Passenger Facility Charges, from the current
ceiling of $3 per person to $4.50. If all airports imposed the increase, it
could bring in up to $700 million more a year for local construction and

Airports Council International president David Z. Plavin said raising the
cap was ``crucial in helping airports increase competition, lower fares
and provide for a safe and efficient air transport system.''

Shuster had sought to double the cap to $6, but the Senate negotiators,
led by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman and Republican
presidential hopeful John McCain of Arizona, were against any increase.
McCain, said his spokeswoman Pia Pialorsi, was against any tax

House officials briefing on the bill said airports seeking to raise their
passenger fees must show that the increase would significantly help
safety, capacity, noise abatement or security and that they needed
funding above what they receive under the Airport Improvement

The bill would nearly double funds authorized for the AIP, which finances
airport modernization, with the minimum entitlement for smaller airports
going from $500,000 to $1 million.

The legislation would also eliminate the ``high density rule'' established in
1969 to limit flights out of New York's Kennedy and LaGuardia and
Chicago's O'Hare, going into effect in 2007 in New York and 2002 in
Chicago. Past FAA bills had been held up by local lawmakers strongly
opposed to increasing flights out of those airports.

Slots -- one slot is a landing or takeoff -- at Washington's Reagan
National Airport would be increased by 24, with 12 of those reserved
for flights beyond the 1,250-mile ``perimeter rule'' in place since 1986.
McCain had pushed hard for this as part of an effort to increase flights to
smaller, less competitive airports.

The bill would also provide loan guarantees for regional jets that serve
smaller communities.

The legislation also amends the 1920 Death on the High Seas Act which
bars families of those lost in air disasters -- such as the 1996 TWA 800
crash that killed 230 people -- from collecting non-economic damages.

Under the bill, the 1920 law would not apply to air crashes within 12
nautical miles of the U.S. shoreline. It would be retroactive to the day
before the TWA crash.
Topic Author
Posts: 2504
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 3:11 am

RE: Sorry Guys

Sat Mar 04, 2000 10:26 am

Well... some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you.
Posts: 372
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 1999 11:25 am

RE: House & Senate Move To Free O'Hare!

Sat Mar 04, 2000 10:56 am

This is interesting...BUT....do you think the money should be spend to rebuilt the FAA ATC system?? (I hope I have the right term ATC). With so much delayed for airlines taking off/landing, we should focus on this first before we let the Chicago, National, etc expand the slots. If I recalled, United and American complained last year that they were delayed so many times at O'Hare...so with more flights going in and out, this will increase the flight delays.


Posts: 955
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:59 am

RE: House & Senate Move To Free O'Hare!

Sat Mar 04, 2000 12:49 pm

AmtrakGuy hit the nail on the head. More slots seem irrelevant without the means to handle capacity. O'Hare has room to expand a little more, but safety concerns keep me from feeling comfortable about seeing it happen.

Fortunately the FAA seems to understand the state of ATC. Next week watch for reports of the release of their new ATC initiative in Washington. I've heard that the focus will be on the improved implementation of RJs into the ATC structure. RJs have affected traffic both in the high and low flight levels and even on the ground. They're better at fitting in with departure or arrival patterns because of their jet-like speeds (great for us at O'Hare), but their landing requirements are more like the big jets, meaning that the Land and Hold Short abilities of turboprops sometimes disappear (very bad for us at O'Hare).

Furthermore, they're slow at cruising altitude. Some of the longer RJ flights get well above 30,000 to ride alongside their bigger and faster cousins. The FAA is said to be concentrating on trying to better mix the little stragglers in with the big jets. That sounds especially good for big regional centers like O'Hare that are seeing more and more RJ traffic in addition to expanding mainline services. The RJ's belong high, and it'll improve everything to be able to get them there.

I'm most interested in seeing how far forward they go on free flight. This seems to me as being the clear answer to that problem.

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