Governors Corzine, Paterson Oppose Slot Auctioning At New York Airports

Governor David Paterson of New York and Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey have joined the Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the Business Travel Coalition (BTC) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in voicing their opposition to the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) plan to auction takeoff and landing slots at New York City-area airports, the Associated Press reports. The first of such auctions is scheduled to begin in September at Newark Liberty International Airport.

DOT officials claim that the limited number of flights per hour at airports justifies auctioning as the right way to designate which airlines get which spots, and that it will force competing airlines to lower ticket prices. Economists who support auctioning add that it would ameliorate over-scheduled flights and encourage airlines to schedule flights more responsibily.

Meanwhile, both governors argue that the auctions will raise rates as much as 12 percent as consumers pay for the price that airlines put down for the slot. In addition, Paterson and Corzine expressed concern that auctioning slots to the highest bidder will harm small-market airports such as Buffalo, NY by eliminating shorter routes.

The governors voiced their concerns in a letter to Transportation Secretary Mary Peters after the ATA sued the Federal Aviation Administration last week.

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