DFW may face another challenge

Nov. 15, 2004 at 4:33 PM

DALLAS, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in North Texas Monday faced a new challenge with talk of lifting restrictions that protect it from competition.

Southwest Airlines has announced it will seek repeal of the Wright amendment, a federal rule that has kept it from competing from nearby Dallas Love Field. The rule limits its flights from the Dallas airport to only seven nearby states.

Former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright of Fort Worth pushed the law through Congress 25 years ago to shelter the then new DFW airport. Southwest for years took a neutral position on the restrictions, but now is calling the amendment "anti-competitive."

The action comes at a time when DFW, the world's third busiest airport, is already facing financial challenges. Troubled Delta Air Lines announced recently it will close down its hub operation at the airport.

DFW is the home base of American Airlines, the world's largest airline, and the Wright amendment has been a factor in American's success.

American and DFW officials oppose any changes in the Wright amendment, although Congress might be open to considering further changes because of the growing demand for more low-cost airline service.

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