Friday, July 23, 2010

Airlines Lose Court Case



supreme_court_building In a decision that may eventually help reduce airport congestion and delays, a US Court of Appeals ruled that airports can impose varying landing fees throughout the day at congested airports.




How airlines react to this decision may lead to reduced delays at airports like New York La Guardia or Chicago O'Hare.

A major contributing factor to airport delays is airport and airspace congestion. Airlines contribute to this problem by having too many flights operating at congested airports. For the stated case of remaining competitive, airlines will operate numerous flights with smaller aircraft between certain paired cities.


Comair As an example, some airlines offer what is called “Shuttle Service”. These flights offer hourly or less than hourly service usually between two high density airports.

Many times these routes (New York, Boston, Chicago) are flown by 50-90 seat aircraft that require most of the same airport and airspace considerations.



Southwest 737 The same amount of seats can be offered by one 150 seat airplane compared to three 50 seat airplanes. While schedule frequency would be reduced so would the amount of airplanes.

Even passengers inconvenienced by scheduling changes will benefit if over all airport congestion and delays are reduced.



By imposing higher landing fees at certain times of the day airports hope to influence airline scheduling policies. Although I am not fond of government intervention in business sometimes it becomes necessary.

I agree with the court's decision in the case of Department Of Transportation versus The Air Transport Association (ATA). The court stated, “As the airspace is used ever more intensively, it is unsurprising that the department would update its approach to landing fees in an effort to relieve airport congestion”.


airport-cancellations-def I hope both parties will use this decision to update their approaches to solving other problems effecting air travel congestion and delays.






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