Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
The latest issue of Issues in Aviation Law and Policy is now available. To see a list of articles and authors, please refer to this earlier post. Subscriptions can be ordered through the website of DePaul University's International Aviation Law Institute or by filling out this form.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The breaking news this morning is that the U.S. Department of Justice has reached an agreement with American Airlines and US Airways to allow the two carriers to proceed with their proposed merger. The agreement is now pending court approval. The divestitures are fairly extensive compared to the concessions required in previous airline mergers. The airlines will have to sell 104 slots (52 pairs) at Reagan Washington National, 34 (17 pairs) at New York LaGuardia, and two airport gates and the associated ground facilities at each of Boston Logan, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles International and Miami International. The slots at Reagan National aren't a surprise, and speculation that a deal would also require slots at LaGuardia grew last week as details of the negotiations leaked out. But the divestitures from non-slot-constrained airports break new ground, though the DOJ has previously recognized that entry can be difficult at even non-slot-constrained hub airports, and cited that as a consideration in its merger analysis. The DOJ, which will have approval authority over the sale of the slots and gates, has expressed a hope that the assets will end up with LCCs such as Southwest and JetBlue.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Today the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration released a forward-looking set of plans for the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the nation's airspace. The so-called "roadmap" is intended to inform the public about upcoming regulatory and procedural steps the agency will be taking to enable increased UAS operations over the coming decade. The entire roadmap can be downloaded in pdf form here.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Reports of settlement talks between the DOJ and American Airlines and US Airways leaked out earlier this week. It appears to be the government that's pushing the settlement story at the moment, suggesting the DOJ at the very least wants to create a public impression that it made a reasonable attempt to resolve the matter before reaching trial. It's probable that the DOJ actually does want to settle the case, as its prospects of winning in court are highly uncertain. Attorney General Eric Holder's remarks suggest that the DOJ is seeking slot divestitures at Washington Reagan National, which was expected, and at least one other airport, likely New York LaGuardia, which comes as a surprise. Slot divestitures alone would fail to address many of concerns raised in the DOJ complaint, leading to speculation that the merged airline may also be required to continue US Airways' Advantage fares program for a specified duration post-merger.