US transportation secretary Ray LaHood has proposed cancelling controversial slot auctions at New York City-area airports, a programme introduced by his predecessor during the previous administration.

Under LaHood's proposal, the DOT would halt plans announced last October to withdraw a number of slots from airlines operating at New York JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports and auction the slots in an attempt to reduce congestion and delays. The rulemaking also included caps on the number of flights per hour at each airport.

Stakeholders including airlines and airport operator the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) objected to the auctions and some US legislators threatened to insert prohibitions of the auctions during last minute legislation under consideration by Congress.

New York view 
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Airlines also resisted being asked to voluntarily reduce operations.

Auctions have not taken place due to litigation in federal court in Washington and a court-ordered stay, which airlines requested through the Air Transport Association of America (ATA).

In addition, DOT says most of stakeholders filing comments opposed the slot auctions.

As a result, LaHood will be meet with stakeholders to determine his department's plans.

"I'll be talking with airline, airport and consumer stakeholders, as well as elected officials, over the summer about the best ways to move forward," he says in a statement.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news