federal judge has determined that the new and increased charges being incurred
by airlines operating out of Terminals 1 and 3 of Los Angeles International
(LAX) are “unreasonable” and “unjustly discriminate”, in a move that could cost
the airport’s operator millions in reimbursements.
an exhaustive “recommended decision” served yesterday, US DOT administrative
law judge Richard Goodwin
found that the formulas and methods used by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)
to justify the new fees are inappropriate and that carriers should be
LAWA’s obligation “is
prospectively and retroactively” and it “should pay interest on the sums due”,
Secretary Mary Peters is expected to issue a final decision on the matter by
airline occupants of Terminal 1 and 3, including AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, ATA Airlines,
Frontier Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and US Airways, have
applauded the judges ruling.
a joint statement, they say: “We are gratified by today’s recommended decision
in favor of the airlines
serving Terminals 1 and 3 at LAX. The administrative law judge’s ruling upholds
clear and longstanding principles of law that are designed to protect consumers
and air carriers from excessive, unreasonable, and discriminatory payments for
the use of an essential public facility.
is unfortunate that LAWA once again compelled the airlines to initiate
expensive and time-consuming legal proceedings before the DOT in order to
protect our customers, employees and shareholders from LAWA’s egregious actions.”