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Airlines Will Sue to Stop Slot Auctions

August 7, 2008 By: George Dooley

The Air Transport Association (ATA), representing 90 percent of all U.S. passenger traffic, said it will fight the Department of Transportation's (DOT) decision to proceed with a plan to auction takeoff and landing slots at New York-area airports. The ATA said that the move is to begin with one slot at Newark's Liberty International Airport, despite repeated protests from airlines and industry groups.

"DOT has left us no options— we will sue to prevent this illegal action," said ATA President and CEO James May. The Newark auction will be held September 3 with no minimum bid, but the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it will refuse to let the winning bidder use the airport terminal gates, effectively grounding the flight, the ATA said.

“We are extremely disappointed by the DOT’s auction announcement that completely ignores strong opposition from key members of Congress, the DOT’s own task force, including consumer groups on New York delays, and the Port Authority and airlines," said May. "DOT’s auction proposal is unlawful, unwise and will do absolutely nothing to reduce congestion and flight delays in New York. DOT has left us no options— we will sue to prevent this illegal action.”


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