The news article in the other thread about WN growing at DEN had a paragraph about FAA approval.
Dallas-based Southwest last year received federal approval to start service at DIA and was told it would have to go through the process again if it planned to add more than 40 flights.
Airlines that want to start service or significantly increase flights at a given airport must meet certain environmental regulations. The FAA has issued a recommendation approving Southwest's latest proposal, saying the new flights conform with the regulations. The agency is now accepting public comment on the issue.
It appears that the environmental factors have to be examined. That includes noise.
Also in areas with air quality problems there seems to be a requirement to get approval for major actions that could add large amounts of emissions.
So the way I understand it WN needs a General Conformity Determination that the large increase in flights is accounted for in the area's air quality planning and will not significantly impact the environment.
I still don't know what the triggers are in terms of number of flights, etc. Also how long has this policy been in place in terms of flight increases?
Anyone more knowledgable care to fill in about this requirement.
From the docket: