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NTU Supports H.R. 2646, the Right to Fly Act

June 24, 2005

The Honorable Jeb Hensarling
United States House of Representatives
132 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Hensarling:

On behalf of the 350,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write to offer our strong support for your legislation, H.R. 2646, the Right to Fly Act. By repealing the archaic Wright Amendment that restricts long-haul flights out of Love Field in Texas, this legislation would promote consumer-friendly competition among airline carriers and spur economic growth in the markets those carriers serve.

Due to protectionist restrictions passed in 1979, airline carriers flying out of Love Field can only fly to destinations within Texas and to six neighboring states. However, nearby Dallas-Fort Worth airport has no such restrictions, leaving Love Field and its patrons at a competitive disadvantage. We must remember that the American consumer is the direct beneficiary of increased competition among airline carriers. In fact, the Wall Street Journal found that on routes where Love Field carriers compete with Dallas-Fort Worth carriers, Love Field fares are on average 15 percent cheaper. The Right to Fly Act simply opens up a restricted market and allows airline carriers to fairly compete for business based on the merits of their product.

Local economies across the nation would also stand to gain from repeal of the Wright Amendment. According to a recent study done by the Campbell-Hill Aviation Group, passage of the Right to Fly Act would lift a $4.2 billion annual burden to passengers and markets within and beyond the seven-state limit. North Texas alone would see an increase of $1.7 billion annually due to increased travel within the region. The Right to Fly Act would serve as a much needed tool for generating economic growth.

Many other major metropolitan markets, such as Houston, New York, and Chicago, are served by more than one airport, and the local economies and consumers have benefited from increased competition. North Texas deserves the same.

NTU strongly supports efforts to remove outdated restrictions from Love Field and encourage free market competition among airline carriers. We look forward to working closely with you to pass this important piece of legislation. Any votes taken on H.R. 2646 will be included in NTU's annual Rating of Congress.


Kristina M. Rasmussen
Economic Policy Analyst