Big-name politicians line up behind Southwest in Dallas flight battle

canyonblue

Everyone loves Southwest
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
2,314
Total Time
15000+
A Nevada senator plans to file a bill to repeal the Wright Amendment in the U.S. Senate today, a move that will intensify the drive to lift restrictions at Dallas Love Field.

John Ensign, a Republican and a member of the Senate Aviation Subcommittee, said in April that he planned to challenge the amendment.

In a news conference today, Ensign will be joined by two high-profile supporters: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.

McCain, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, is known for his independence and is widely considered to be a 2008 presidential hopeful. Brownback, well-known as a social conservative, is also reportedly exploring a 2008 presidential bid.

Herb Kelleher, co-founder and chairman of Southwest Airlines, will also be there.

Ensign "sees this as a free-market issue," his spokesman Jack Finn said. "He believes that whenever possible, the government should get out of the way and let the market dictate who can fly, where and when."

The Senate bill is similar to a measure filed in the U.S. House in May by two North Texas congressmen. That bill, which is pending in the House Subcommittee on Aviation, has 25 co-sponsors.

The Senate measure gives the anti-Wright campaign a significant boost. Both houses would have to pass a bill to overturn the 1979 federal law. Unlike the House bill, which was filed in May, Mr. Ensign's proposal would not simply repeal the Wright amendment. Instead, it would amend 1997 legislation by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., by expanding flights to the 42 states and Puerto Rico where they are now prohibited.

The wording contains a subtle political strategy: By naming all the states, it would force opposing members in either the Senate or House to vote against increasing low-fare air service to their states.

The law allows flights from Love Field only to states that border Texas. Mississippi, Kansas and Alabama were later added. It was passed to protect nearby Dallas/Fort Worth Airport from competition.

The law has the effect of restricting Dallas-based Southwest, the nation's largest low-fare carrier, to short-haul flights from North Texas, where the airline operates only at Love. It says D/FW is too large, too expensive and too congested for its lean business model.

Critics say that the amendment artificially inflates fares to distant cities from North Texas because it prevents discounter Southwest from competing with American Airlines, which operates a hub at D/FW and controls more than 80 percent of that airport's market share.

Last year, Southwest began a campaign to get the amendment repealed after decades of neutrality on the issue. Gary Kelly, the airline's chief executive, argues that the law is outdated and unfair to consumers.

Studies commissioned by Southwest and D/FW have found that fares to many cities would drop substantially if the amendment is lifted.

But D/FW officials say removing the restrictions would hurt their airport, because many flights would shift to Love. That, in turn, would hurt the area economy, which they say depends on the airport.

American has said it will move hundreds of daily flights to Love if the amendment is overturned.

D/FW officials are pressing Southwest to begin long-haul service at their airport instead. The airport has been running ads asking the airline to begin service, and officials have pledged to build the carrier a new terminal.

D/FW officials said they weren't surprised by the bill and pointed out that they have offered Southwest $22 million to begin flights at D/FW.

"We believe a better approach is for Southwest Airlines to join with us to grow the North Texas economy and benefit all of our citizens by beginning service at D/FW," said Kevin Cox, the airport's chief operating officer. "They can begin service from D/FW tomorrow without an act of Congress."

American officials have also been lobbying strongly against any move to overturn the amendment.

"We continue to be concerned that any encroachment on the Wright Amendment will have widespread negative effects on the North Texas community," American spokesman Tim Wagner said.

American executives have said that a Wright repeal could cost the airline hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue.

Southwest maintains that opening Love Field to longer flights would help the local economy by spurring traffic demand and bringing more travelers to the region.

Southwest executives praised Ensign, as well as McCain and Brownback.

"This is a significant step toward the ultimate goal of removing anti-competitive legislation and giving the flying public access to low fares through a truly deregulated airline industry," spokesman Ed Stewart said.

The bill comes as Southwest has begun advertising its anti-Wright stance. The airline has bought billboards around Love Field and the American Airlines Center in Dallas, urging the amendment's repeal.

It has also bought 30-second TV spots featuring a map of Love Field connecting to cities like Los Angeles and Orlando, Fla. Those ads have aired during Texas Rangers baseball games.

More ads are in the pipeline, Stewart said. He declined to disclose how much Southwest is spending on the anti-Wright advertising.

"This is part of our continuing education, letting people know why the Wright Amendment is hurting North Texas," he said.
 
Last edited:

ultrarunner

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
4,324
Total Time
10000
Competition is a good thing. And SWA going into DFW would be a good thing, IMO.

If AA, DAL (what's left), et. al. can't find a way to compete...we'll, I don't see that as a problem.

Bring 'em on!
 

G4G5

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Posts
1,800
Total Time
8500+
McCain is such a pos the guy hates anything to do with comercial aviation.
 

FlyBoeingJets

YES, that's NICE
Joined
Mar 20, 2003
Posts
1,802
Total Time
>5000
ultrarunner said:
Competition is a good thing. And SWA going into DFW would be a good thing, IMO.

Bring 'em on!


Sure it is, good for DFW that is.
 

aa73

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Posts
2,075
Total Time
10K
Buckaroo said:
It's a done deal. The Wright Amendment WILL be repealed.


Mark my words.

Hey, I said it first!

No kidding, the only entities who don't realize it are DFW and AA.
 

General Lee

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2002
Posts
20,442
Total Time
A lot
G4G5 said:
McCain is such a pos the guy hates anything to do with comercial aviation.

His son flies (or flew) for AA, right?

Bye Bye--General Lee
 

aa73

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Posts
2,075
Total Time
10K
General Lee said:
His son flies (or flew) for AA, right?

Bye Bye--General Lee

Still does, although the rumor is they are not on speaking terms.
 

labbats

Zulu who?
Joined
May 25, 2003
Posts
2,593
Total Time
9000
aa73 said:
Still does, although the rumor is they are not on speaking terms.

So his son just pretends he's another pilot walking by him at DFW?
 

yaks

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Posts
164
Total Time
8000+
How hypocritical of SWA to support the repeal while also supporting the limits on gates and flights so they (still) won't really have to compete with anyone out of LUV. How ironic that they are now committing the same types of deeds they once railed against when they were getting started.
 

labbats

Zulu who?
Joined
May 25, 2003
Posts
2,593
Total Time
9000
AA Responds To Senator's Bill To Repeal Wright A press release issued earlier today provides American's statement in response to Senator Ensign's bill to repeal the Wright Amendment. American's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Will Ris said today:

"American Airlines strongly opposes the bill introduced today by U.S. Senator John Ensign (R-NV) in a press conference held immediately prior to a press briefing by Southwest Airlines Chairman Herb Kelleher.

"The bill is misnamed -- it should be called the Southwest Airlines Right to Fly Act. Senator Ensign proposes to give Southwest Airlines the unlimited ability to fly anywhere from Love Field in Dallas, Texas and then guarantee it an unprecedented federal monopoly by limiting the right of other carriers to acquire facilities and operate flights from Love.

He does so by assuring that the Love Field Master Plan, which limits growth and competition at Love remains in place while Southwest is free to fly anywhere from an airport in which it already has a virtual monopoly today.

"Senator Ensign ignores the fact that North Texas airline service has been completely open to competition for decades. Southwest has chosen not to fly nationally from DFW International Airport for the past 30 years.

"There are no provisions in the bill that would facilitate the introduction of service by other carriers at Love, assure equal access to the airport, provide for the building of new gates or terminals, require Southwest to make facilities available to other carriers in the absence of new gates, or in any way encourage competitors to enter the market. It makes no reference to the fact that, in stark contrast, more than 20 gates remain immediately available just a few miles away at DFW International Airport for the benefit of Southwest or any other carrier that wants to fly from that facility.

"Moreover, the bill only responds to the intense lobbying effort of Southwest to change the rules that it once agreed should never be changed. It does not propose to lift operating restrictions imposed on other airports in the nation, such as Washington's Reagan National and New York's LaGuardia airports. In short, the bill exclusively benefits one airline, while limiting the ability of all others to compete with that airline on its home turf."
 

TexaSWA

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2002
Posts
389
Total Time
-
yaks said:
How hypocritical of SWA to support the repeal while also supporting the limits on gates and flights so they (still) won't really have to compete with anyone out of LUV. How ironic that they are now committing the same types of deeds they once railed against when they were getting started.

The glass that our house is constructed of is much thicker than that of our cross town competitor. And we dont throw nearly as many rocks.

In all seriousness though, the gate and flight limits are compromise brought on by politicians who were initially (and some who still are) opposed to the repeal.
 

chase

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
1,217
Total Time
10,000
Some Thoughts

For folks to claim that Southwest has monopolized the airport is wrong....no less than three other legacy carriers have worked from Love in the past & could still in the future. How is that controlling competition? The recent chronology of major events involving these legacy carriers is listed below.

One interesting note that pertains to what AA & DFW airport authorities continue to preach, "we only want what is best for North Texas".....AA didn't renew flights out of Love until airlines with less than 56 seats began flying from Love....why? Because they wanted to crush the competition.

When that was either accomplished through the courts or via bankruptcy they elected to stop flying from Love.....why don't they fly their AUS/MAF/AMA/ABQ/LBB/MSY/HOU flights from Love instead of DFW? For the same reasons SWA wouldn't fly our MDW/LAX/MCO/PHX etc, flights from DFW.

If American is smart enough to do that why isn't SWA allowed to make the same business decisions. Arpey has already stated that if they move to Love & are forced to respond to Southwest they will lose money at Love. Why would shareholders want their CEO to embark on a business plan they know will lose money? They don't apply that same logic to MDW & ORD....they operate out of ORD to make more money & have a very small presence in MDW for that reason. For them to say it is unfair is the kettle calling the pot black.

Here's the timeline:


July 9, 1998
State Court enjoined Continental Express from operating Love Field to Cleveland flights pending the court's final decision.

August 31, 1998
American Airlines begins service to Austin.

October 16 1998
The Fort Worth district court (oh what a shock!) rules in favor of the City of Fort Worth and American Airlines. Legend Airlines appeals the district court's ruling.

December 22, 1998
The U.S. Department of Transportation rules that Dallas cannot restrict Love Field service outside of the scope of the Wright/Shelby Amendment. Fort Worth and American Airlines (yea that is helping North Texas consumers) sue the Department of Transportation in federal appeals court in New Orleans.

2000
February 1, 2000
5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the U.S. Department of Transportation's ruling allowing large aircraft to fly from Love Field to seven states outside Texas and planes with 56 or fewer seats to fly from Love Field anywhere in the country.

February 10, 2000
Fort Worth district judge (he's no dummy, he sees the earlier ruling in the week from a higher court & figures either I do it or they make me look like an idiot) lifts an injunction against Continental Express, which will allow the airline to add flights from Love Field to Cleveland, Ohio on June 1.

March 3, 2000
Fort Worth and D/FW Airport Board appeal the 5th Circuit's ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. (The aircraft are smaller than 57 seats, why not compete American? Don't you want what is best for the consumers?)

April 5, 2000
Legend Airlines begins long-haul service to Los Angeles International Airport (5 flights daily) and Washington Dulles (4 flights daily) using DC-9 jets reconfigured to 56 first-class seats. April 7, 2000 - Legend Airlines begins long-haul flights to Las Vegas, Nevada.

April 30, 2000
In preparation for the start of their long-haul service, American Airlines cancels its Love Field to Austin flights. (Why? they don't want to lose money....they decide to go head to head with an airline that is small, weak fiscally & won't be able to handle the number of seats they can throw against these markets....similar to Vanguard...yes I know the courts ruled this was "just business"...well Southwest is asking for the same thing, let the better business plan work & not some law that prevents competition.)

May 1, 2000
American Airlines begins long-haul service to Los Angeles International Airport (4 flights daily) and Chicago O'Hare (5 flights daily) using Fokker 100 jet aircraft reconfigured to 56 first-class seats. American Airlines joins Fort Worth and the D/FW Airport Board's appeal to the Supreme Court. (American would rather spend money on lawyers then on a business plan that makes sense....keep competition where they can beat you to death, DFW, not at some place like Love) A state appeals court reverses the earlier ruling by the state district court in Fort Worth, citing the federal appeals court decision.

May 10, 2000
As a result of the increasing demand for gate space at Love Field, the Dallas City Council authorized the development of the Dallas Love Field Airport Impact Analysis/Master Plan. (American had a role in this as did SWA....anyone with a vision could make their inputs & did. If American had wanted more gates at Love they could've asked for them then or asked for a re-dispersal....no one did. In fact the total number of available gates is 50+ according to the master plan but only 32 were approved, if American wishes for those to occur they can appeal to the airport authorities & Dallas officials & have the Master Plan changed...they can also pay for the expansion if they so desire....SWA did in Islip & at many other airports, just like AA has & others....for airlines now to ask for SWA to give up gates they legally have the right to use is a bit like asking to play just in the final round of a golf match after the first 3 rounds have eliminated most of the competition.)

June 1, 2000
Continental Express begins service to Cleveland, Ohio (4 flights daily) using 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets. (CAL hasn't asked for any special favors & still don't...good on ya!)

June 14, 2000
Continental Express increases its Houston flights by two.

June 29, 2000
The U.S. Supreme Court denies petitions by Fort Worth, D/FW Airport Board and American Airlines to review the federal appeals court decision. (Once again who wins...lawyers & the residents of North Texas who get more choices....who loses, AA but only temporarily)

July 1, 2000
Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southwest Airlines (ASA) begins Canadair regional jet service between Love Field and Atlanta with six daily flights from the Legend Terminal Building. (Good on ya....but where were you before the competition? Over at DFW? Why because one doesn't want to split operations....the outcome is rather obvious at this point for dear old Legend)

December 2, 2000
Legend Airlines halts service from Love Field. (Predictable & a loss to the residents of North Texas but it showed the true colors of a American & Delta...nothing wrong with what they did mind you, most airlines would do the same thing but to have AA speak out against the Wright Amendment & use some of the "holier than thou" justifications is a bit two face I believe.)


April 11, 2001
The Dallas City Council unanimously adopts the Love Field Airport Impact Analysis/Master Plan, thus defining the future of Love Field. A consensus was gained among Love Field tenants, community representatives and area businesses that the maximum number of gates at Love Field will be 32.

May 1, 2001
Connection ASA moves to the main terminal building offering 3 daily flights to Atlanta, Georgia. (Beginning of the end for DAL-ATL)

September 11, 2001
Terrorists using commercial airplanes as weapons attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon causing a three-day shutdown of all national airports.

September 12, 2001
American Airlines suspends service from Dallas Love Field indefinitely


______________________
American currently has rights to 3 gates at Love. They currently use "zero". Why not come over & show the North Texas folks those low fares that we've all been missing? Simply stated the reasons AA & DFW doesn't want the WA repealed is they are afraid they can't compete....is it the job of government to protect businesses that are inefficient & raise costs to consumers? Hopefully our governmental officials will come to their senses & make the right choice. Just one person's view.
 

ironspud

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Posts
431
Total Time
>20000
labbats said:
"The bill is misnamed -- it should be called the Southwest Airlines Right to Fly Act.
"

Beats the heck out of the current "American Airlines Right to Fly and Destroy Act" that currently exists.

Competition: Good for everyone, except of course AA and DFW. Too bad!!
 

canyonblue

Everyone loves Southwest
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
2,314
Total Time
15000+
labbats said:
which limits growth and competition at Love remains in place while Southwest is free to fly anywhere from an airport in which it already has a virtual monopoly today.

Sounds like DFW. Maybe Love Field should offer $24,000, and a couple of drink coupons, for AA to come on over and fly out of Love.

"There are no infidels, I mean delays, at Dallas Fort Worth"--AA "Bob"
 

aa73

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Posts
2,075
Total Time
10K
TexaSWA said:
The glass that our house is constructed of is much thicker than that of our cross town competitor. And we dont throw nearly as many rocks.

In all seriousness though, the gate and flight limits are compromise brought on by politicians who were initially (and some who still are) opposed to the repeal.

Canyonblue,

I love SWA, have many friends there and I do not agree with the WA, at all. However, regarding the "throwing of rocks", I must note that lately some of your FAs have been making rather "low" PAs against AA in their pax briefings.
They are pretty lame, and hopefully they'll stop because our FAs certainly don't stoop this low:

"...smoking in the lavatories may subject you to a fine. If you can afford the fine, you could afford American Airlines. But you wouldn't want to get in a terrorist attack."

"Tampering with or disabling a lavatory smoke detector could result in a $2,000 ticket...and if you want that, you can just fly on American Airlines."
 
Last edited:

FlyinGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Posts
900
Total Time
Lots
aa73,
Can you name PM me the flight number and the name of the FA that made the PA's. If you cannot, then I suggest you quit spreading things around that you cannot verify. I can only imagine what the PA will sound like next week!
 

canyonblue

Everyone loves Southwest
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
2,314
Total Time
15000+
aa73 said:
"...smoking in the lavatories may subject you to a fine. If you can afford the fine, you could afford American Airlines. But you wouldn't want to get in a terrorist attack."

I do find that one hard to believe. That would be pathetic and uncalled for.

"Tampering with or disabling a lavatory smoke detector could result in a $2,000 ticket...and if you want that, you can just fly on American Airlines."

I HAVE heard that one. But it not with AA, but Delta and that IS rather comical.
 

Mugs

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2003
Posts
500
Total Time
8,800
A deal is a deal

By Jim Wright

Special to the Star-Telegram
July 3, 2005

After spending 35 years in Congress, I long ago lost count of the number of sundry amendments I offered to various bills. Surely more than 100 of them became law. But these days, whenever people in Texas ask me to explain "the Wright Amendment," I know the one they mean.

That law was a 1979 effort to keep faith with the people of Fort Worth and Dallas, whose cities had acted in unison to build -- with the help of some $96 million from the federal government -- a truly world-class airport.

Our government had granted that money and its official sanction on the clearly stated condition that both cities pass legal ordinances permanently closing Dallas Love Field and Fort Worth's Meacham Field and Greater Southwest International Airport to all commercial passenger traffic.

Both city councils had done precisely that. Wanting something far better, safer, more modern and more serviceable for everyone in the region, they formally shut down the two old nearby airports to all but private flights.

Greater Southwest, an earlier attempt to popularize a midway airport for the two cities, would be subsumed as a sort of southerly appendage to the new Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, and it of course would no longer independently originate any commercial passenger flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration correctly foresaw the growth of long-distance and international travel, requiring larger and larger aircraft with longer radius-of-maneuver requirements that would create dangerously overlapping takeoff and landing patterns if both D/FW and Love were initializing passenger flights in large aircraft.

Concerned for safety and fearful of aerial traffic jams, the FAA demanded wider separation than the close physical proximity of Love and D/FW runways.

FAA spokesmen insisted, before signing off on the ambitious development plans for D/FW, that commercial passenger service at Love, Meacham and Greater Southwest be terminated altogether.

Those conditions having been met by the closing of the two old commercial airports, bonds were sold, guaranteeing their purchasers -- in writing, on the good faith and credit of the two cities -- that there would be no commercial passenger flights at Love, Greater Southwest or Meacham.

In 1974, residents of our two largest cities and other nearby towns celebrated the grand opening of D/FW Airport. It was a triumph of reason over greed, we told one another. It proved that we'd outgrown our childish feuds and finally buried our hatchets -- elsewhere than in one another's skulls.

Progressive leadership in both towns hailed the dawn of cooperation to drive away the long night of feuding. That old rivalry had fed for more than a century on a colorful if flinty-hearted past.

In the days when wagon trains were bringing settlers westward, Dallas merchants would regale westbound migrants with lurid tales of mortal danger and/or lethal boredom that lay in wait to devour them if they ventured as far as Fort Worth. They'd be scalped by Indians, eaten alive by wild animals or condemned to terminal stagnation.

Fort Worth, aside from being dangerous, was described as already dead itself -- so sleepy, according to one warning, that a panther had been seen dozing languidly in the middle of a downtown street.

To counter this verbal roadblock, Fort Worth organized teams of outriders to intercept the wagon trains east of Dallas and escort them to Fort Worth by a circuitous route that skirted any sight of the rival village.

Both towns whetted their competitive skills and reveled overly long in the two-way surfeit of one-upmanship.

When Dallas in 1936 hosted a yearlong exposition in honor of the Texas Centennial, Fort Worth countered with a gaudy Frontier Exposition of its own.

"Come to Dallas for culture," Fort Worth sloganeered, "but come to Fort Worth for fun."

An earlier attempt to operate a mutual airport had faltered in the late 1940s and early '50s. Runways had been located meticulously halfway between Fort Worth's Texas Hotel corner and the Adolphus Hotel corner in Dallas. Then Dallas discovered that the terminal building would face west from the centerline toward Fort Worth, and the deal was off!

Legend says that Fort Worth's No. 1 booster, publishing icon Amon G. Carter, carried his lunch in a paper sack when going to Dallas to avoid patronizing any Dallas eatery. And Dallas' merchant prince, Stanley Marcus, refused to order merchandise from any company whose salesman had flown into the midway airport, known variously as "Greater Southwest Regional Airport" and "Amon Carter Field."

But in 1974, we all mutually rejoiced that we were, at last, singing from the same hymn book and working together!

In this euphoric spirit, things rested -- until the intercession of a state agency known as the Texas Aeronautics Commission. That now-defunct commission, on being petitioned by Southwest Airlines, ordered Dallas to reopen Love Field for use by Southwest, which then was headed by Lamar Muse.

The state commission's edict had to be obeyed by the cited city, but it had no jurisdiction outside Texas.

If Southwest had wanted to establish out-of-state schedules, it could have done so by flying from D/FW, just as all the other airlines were doing. At the time, however, Southwest was principally interested in launching flights linking Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

Meanwhile, freed from certain landing fees that helped pay off the D/FW bonds, Southwest adopted "no-frill" service, advertised low rates and began to flourish. Its owners began to dream of interstate flights.

All its Love Field destinations were in Texas. Invited to use D/FW, the management expressed little interest.

Then came 1978. A movement -- quietly supported by the economically dominant airlines and a group of laissez-faire economists -- to deregulate U.S. aviation was gathering steam.

From the birth of the federally subsidized industry, scheduled passenger flights and fares had been approved and closely monitored in the interest of the flying public by the Civil Aeronautics Board, just as safety matters were monitored by the FAA. The CAB saw to it that all markets were served, that fares were reasonable and that no airline was allowed to monopolize service.

President Carter, somewhat surprisingly, endorsed the concept of deregulation. A bill to effectively abolish the CAB's work swept through the House. Suddenly, prevailing aviation laws would expire, and we'd simply let any airline fly from and to wherever it wished and charge whatever fares it might choose.

Civic leaders, frequent travelers, mayors and city council members from Fort Worth and Dallas saw this as a potential danger to D/FW's contractual agreements. If any company could fly anywhere it wanted out of a reopened Love Field, this could easily renew all the old cutthroat battles that the international airport had been created to settle.

In 1979, this group of concerned citizens came to me for help.

My original amendment, the one that initially passed the House, would have prohibited any interstate commercial passenger flights to or from any airport within a 20-mile radius of D/FW. It was enthusiastically supported by the official leadership of Fort Worth and Dallas.

It set off, however, a massive lobbying effort in the Senate, which rejected the amendment as written and called for a conference committee to resolve differences.

It was at this point that my office participated in discussions with every party at interest, seeking a solution that everyone would recognize as fair. Through these negotiations, we ultimately reached an agreement that all parties embraced.

It allowed Love Field to serve interstate traffic limited to turnaround service between Love and the contiguous states: Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. This restriction applied equally to Southwest and all airlines.

Southwest was not singled out in any way.

Herb Kelleher -- founder, legal counsel and longtime leader of Southwest -- expressed satisfaction. He'd won a significant victory. And he was welcome, even overtly encouraged, to expand into other states with longer-range flights into and out of D/FW Airport.

Southwest is still welcome there. That Southwest has chosen not to accept the invitation has been entirely of its own volition.

That's about all there is to the "Wright Amendment." This compromise was designed to be in perpetuity, to settle once and for all this very divisive issue.

Continued, next post.....
 

Mugs

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2003
Posts
500
Total Time
8,800
(Continued from previous post)


Although I was not personally involved in all of the negotiations with the parties, which included the Dallas and Fort Worth city councils, affected airlines and federal agency representatives, my office was represented in all of them.

It was well understood by each and every party, including Southwest Airlines, that this was an agreement that was to put this issue to rest once and for all, that all parties would abide by it and that none would attempt to unravel it.

At least, this was my understanding. My friend Herb Kelleher remembers it somewhat differently.

Herb, in my view, is a thoroughly honorable person. Who is to say that I am right and he is wrong?

I have no hostility toward Southwest. It offers splendid services -- well-run, on time, reasonably priced.

If its investors want to inaugurate long, cross-country flights from our market, that's fine with me. Just let them fly, like all the others, out of and into the airport that our region's taxpayers, and others, built for that precise purpose. Let them charge whatever fares they wish, be just as competitive as they can.

But we shouldn't need to pay for two international airports, or have to compromise regional passenger safety by overlapping takeoff and landing patterns.

Besides, a deal is a deal. And this one was a good deal.

A guy named Jim Wright has no proprietary ownership of this agreement. It was a compromise hammered out by a lot of people. Equally fair to everyone, it treats all airline carriers alike.

I don't have a current figure on just how much has been invested in D/FW Airport, but I'll assure you of this: It's well into the billions. And I can't tell you how exactly much it has brought to the economies of our neighboring counties, but this is certain: It's in the multiple billions!

Every resident of North Texas has a big investment in D/FW Airport and both a financial and civic interest in its future.

Sometimes I wish I were as wise as Solomon. Then maybe I'd know how to make everybody happy with our human efforts to compromise and get along. Unfortunately, Solomon was not on the faculty at Weatherford College or the University of Texas when I was a student at those institutions.

Who knows? Even if I had enrolled in his course, I might have flunked it.
Jim Wright is a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. PO Box 1413 Fort Worth, TX 76101
 
Top