Thursday, May 26, 2005

Wrong Amendment: A couple congressmen have proposed a bill to repeal the Wright Amendment.

That may not mean much to you, but that just means that you aren't from Dallas. The Wright Amendment was adopted in 1979 to restrict the number and destinations of flights out of Dallas' airport, Love Field. This was to make way for the new DFW International Airport, which needed some protection in its early days.

Well, the early days are gone, DFW is doing just fine, and the Wright Amendment has long outlived its usefulness.

Unfortunately, this is considered a local issue, so nobody seems to care. Like voting rights in Washington, DC, nobody else in the country knows about this or wants to know.

But people should care. Giving one airport a monopoly increases airline prices, which affects other carriers. Plus, on principle alone, the federal government should not be protecting American Airlines from competition.

I grew up in Dallas, and most of my family and friends still live there. When I visit, I'm not able to take Southwest Airlines of the restrictions.

American Airlines whines and lies about how opening up competition will hurt the area economy. But competition never hurts the economy, it only helps. Plus, areas with smaller population -- such as Washington, DC -- have three airports that have no restrictions on air travel. American Airlines needs to learn to compete.

The truth is, Love Field is too small to ever suck the life out of DFW. But allowing it to thrive will keep DFW honest. Congress needs to kick the airline industry out of the government's protective nest, because it's time for the airlines to learn to fly on their own.


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