DOT Caps Newark Flights, Plans Slot Auction - BTNonline
MARCH 10, 2008 -- Flights at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport will be limited to an hourly average of 83 arrivals and departures during peak hours, the Department of Transportation announced today. The cap on flights will begin in early May, and would be followed by a DOT auction of slots "as capacity at Newark grows," it said.
DOT said such an auction approach "encourages competition, allows new entrants and responds to customer demand," but slot auctions have drawn strong criticism from airline and some travel association executives who believe the move will lead to higher airfares (BTNonline, Dec. 19, 2007). DOT did not offer a specific timeframe for such an auction.
The limit will last for two years, and DOT said it would allow 30 more flights per day than last summer. It will follow the limits put in place for New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, which will go into effect this month (BTNonline, Jan. 18).
"We have an obligation to travelers to do everything in our power to prevent a repeat of the horrors they experienced last summer," U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said in a prepared statement. "Delays in New York are a regional problem, not just a single airport problem."
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