new piece of legislation aimed at overturning flight limitations at Dallas Love
Field airport was today introduced to the US Senate.
bill seeks a repeal of the 26-year old Wright Amendment that was introduced to
protect the newly-built Dallas/Fort Worth
(DFW) airport by restricting nonstop service from Love Field to within Texas
and the four contiguous states of Arkansas,
1997, the Shelby Amendment expanded this to include Alabama,
bill was introduced by Senator John Ensign. “This is a free market issue with
dramatic ramifications not just for Texas
but for passengers throughout the entire country,” says the senator. “The
Wright Amendment is an idea whose time has gone.
approval of this bill, Americans will have more options and fares will be
Field-based Southwest Airlines, which has been lobbying for the Wright
Amendment to be overturned, today applauded the new bill.
is another significant step toward the ultimate goal of opening the skies for
greater access to low fares as a result of unfettered airline competition,”
says the carrier in a statement.
continues: “The introduction of the Senate bill is a major step forward in
bringing the freedom to fly to 3.7 million more Americans per year, and the
people of Southwest Airlines will remain diligent in their efforts to educate
the public on the importance of stimulating the economy through greater access
to low-fare air travel.”
there is also opposition to the bill. In a statement, DFW chief operating
officer Kevin Cox says: “[The bill] is not unexpected, but fortunately many
other senators and members of Congress understand repealing the Wright
Amendment is a bad idea that will have detrimental effects on our communities
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 DFW.”
has said repeatedly that it does not plan to serve DFW.
DFW-hubbed American Airlines also
opposes the proposed legislation. “The bill is misnamed - it should be called
the Southwest Airlines right to fly act,” says the airline’s senior VP of
government affairs Will Ris.
“Senator Ensign proposes to give Southwest Airlines the unlimited ability to
fly anywhere from Love Field…and then guarantee it an unprecedented federal
monopoly by limiting the right of other carriers to acquire facilities and
operate flights from Love [Field].”
in February said that it would add flights at Love Field if the Wright
Amendment is revoked.