New York Slot Auctions on track despite Opposition

Washington DC
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FAA is proceeding with preparations for its planned auction of landing slots at the three New York City airports despite court challenges from airline groups and congressional efforts to block the process.

During the last two days FAA has held meetings outlining procedures for the auctions, and has posted a fact sheet explaining the process on its website.

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) would like a federal judge to block the planned 12 January auction. It filed a suit in opposition and sought a stay last month.

Numerous members of both the House and the US Senate have expressed opposition to the slots auction, with the Senate adopting language barring the sell-off. Further prohibitions could be adopted in last-minute legislation still under consideration by the Congress.

Regional Airline Association President Roger Cohen, who attended the slot meeting this week says: "After reading the handouts and listening for three hours, it's more like eBay on psychedelics" than eBay on steroids, as an auctioneer hired by the FAA characterized the auction process.

Cohen believes slot auctions will "certainly make it more expensive and less convenient for passengers from the 75% of the nation that relies exclusively on regional airlines to fly into New York."