November 13, 2010
Final Approval for Transpacific Alliances
As expected, the Department of Transportation finalized its approval and antitrust immunity for the American Airlines/JAL and United/ANA transpacific alliances. See U.S.-Japan Alliance Case, Dkt. No. DOT-OST-2010, Final Order (Dep't of Transp. Nov. 10, 2010) (available here).
November 8, 2010
AA Pilots Take Aim at TSA
Jeffrey Goldberg, who writes for The Atlantic, has an interesting blog post up about a recent letter sent from Captain Dave Bates, President of the Allied Pilots Association, concerning the humiliating treatment American Airlines' pilots are allegedly receiving at the hands of the Transportation Security Administration. Goldberg's comments, along with a copy of the letter, are available here.
Of Cabbages and Cabotage
For those interested, Professor Robert Hardaway's eye-opening article, Of Cabbages and Cabotage: The Case for Opening Up the U.S. Airline Industry to International Competition, 34 Transp. L.J. 1 (2007), is available for free download from SSRN here. From the abstract:
The United States should aggressively pursue cabotage agreements with foreign governments and in particular with the EEC. Such agreements should be reciprocal in principle, offering cabotage rights in the U.S. equal in terms of mileage or other agreed upon benchmark in exchange for equal rights in the foreign country participating in the agreement. The adoption of cabotage with whomever it can be negotiated should be combined with domestic policies opening up domestic airport gates and resources and slots to all who seek entry, whether new entrants or incumbent foreign carriers. All foreign airlines granted cabotage rights should be required to satisfy all safety and regulatory and security requirements currently imposed on U.S. carriers, as well as additional security requirements deeded necessary under Homeland Security laws.
NY Flight Delays Report
The Federal Aviation Administration has released a new report on flight delays at the New York-area airports. See FAA, New York Flight Delays Have Three Main Causes, But More Work Is Needed to Understand Their Nationwide Effect, Rpt. No. AV-2011-007 (Oct. 28, 2010) (available here). From the summary:
On October 28, 2010, we issued our report on the causes and nationwide effects of flight delays at the principal New York area airports--Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark. During the summer of 2007, these airports led the Nation with over 40 percent of arriving flights either delayed or cancelled. We conducted this review at the request of the Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, who requested that we (1) determine the principal causes of flights delays in the New York region and (2) identify the corresponding effect of these delays nationwide.
Flight delays in the New York area have three main causes: (1) crowded airspace due to the close proximity and high volume of flight operations of the three main New York airports; (2) airport capacity constraints; and (3) continued growth in air traffic during the last 10 years, in part due to the phase-out of flight limits (caps) from 2000 to 2007. FAA reestablished the caps in 2008 at Kennedy and imposed them for the first time at Newark, but these have done little to reduce New York area delays. While there is substantial agreement that New York delays have a nationwide "ripple effect," the extent and nature of their impact are largely unknown. FAA's efforts to measure this effect are in the developmental stage and require additional work to provide a full understanding of delay propagation.
We made four recommendations to FAA aimed at reexamining its flight caps, enhancing existing flight data, and developing a viable methodology for understanding delay propagation effects. FAA fully concurred with one recommendation and partially concurred with three. We are requesting that FAA provide our office with a new written response addressing specific issues with these three recommendations within 30 days.