An Open Letter to the United States Senate: Ending Flight Restrictions on Dallas's Love Field Makes Sense for Airline Passengers and Taxpayers

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the millions of members of the groups listed below, we write in support of S. 1424, the American Right to Fly Act, sponsored by Senators Ensign, Lieberman, McCain, and Brownback that would eliminate the restrictions on long-haul flights into and 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 known as the Wright Amendment that were 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 and both limiting travelers? options and forcing them to pay unnecessarily high ticket costs. 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. This legislation would simply open up this restricted market and allow airline carriers to fairly compete for business based on the merits of their product rather than arbitrary federal mandates.

According to a recent study done by the Campbell-Hill Aviation Group, passage of the American Right to Fly Act would create $4.2 billion in annual savings and economic growth for passengers and markets in North Texas and those beyond the seven-state limit. North Texas alone would see an increase of $1.7 billion annually due to increased travel within the region. This legislation 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. The existence of choices not only in actual airline service, but in airport location has been an economic boon to the local economies and consumers that have benefited from increased competition. North Texas deserves the same.

Our groups strongly support efforts to remove outdated restrictions from Love Field and encourage free market competition among airline carriers. Eliminating wasteful and economically-harmful restrictions on the economy is common sense. Thus, we look forward to working closely with Congress to pass the American Right to Fly Act.


John Berthoud, President
National Taxpayers Union
*Amy Ridenour, President
The National Center for Public Policy Research
David A. Keene, Chairman
American Conservative Union
Thomas Schatz, President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Matt Kibbe, President and CEO
William Steel, President
National Grange
Shawn McBurney, Vice President of Governmental Affairs
American Hotel & Lodging Association
John Tillman, President
Americans for Limited Government

*Organization listed for identification purposes only.