A federal judge in Washington DC has delayed the planned auctioning off of a portion of slots at three New York area airports.
Through their trade group, the Air Transport Association of America (ATA), US airlines sought a stay in the auction proceedings, arguing they would be deeply harmed if the auctions proceeded.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) also sued to block the auctions while US legislators have threatened to insert prohibitions of the auctions during last minute-legislation under consideration by the Congress.
Previously Transportation Secretary Mary Peters has said the auctions would reduce delays at the congested airports - LaGuarida, JFK and Newark. She also believes slots will push down prices and increase competition.
US regulators met just last week to outline procedures for the slots.