Ending Flight Restrictions on Dallas's Love Field Makes Economic Common Sense, Groups Tell U.S. Senate

(Alexandria, VA) -- Approving the American Right to Fly Act (S. 1424), which would lift limits on flights into and out of Love Field near Dallas, is an important step toward promoting consumer-friendly competition among air carriers in North Texas: that's the message more than a half-dozen advocacy groups sent to Members of the Senate in an open letter today. The effort was organized by the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU).

"This legislation would simply open up this restricted market and allow airline carriers to fairly compete for business based on the merits of their products rather than arbitrary federal mandates," the letter noted.

Collectively representing millions of members, the participants were the American Conservative Union, FreedomWorks, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, the National Grange, Americans for Limited Government, and NTU. Joining these groups was policy expert Amy Ridenour, who is also President of the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Currently, due to protectionist-policies created by longstanding legislation called the "Wright Amendment," airline carriers flying out of Love Field can only fly to destinations within Texas and to six neighboring states. According to the signatories, this outdated federal directive limits travelers' options and forces them to pay unnecessarily-high ticket costs. For example, on routes where Love Field carriers compete with Dallas-Fort Worth carriers, which do not face such restrictions, fares are on average 15 percent cheaper.

"Many other major metropolitan markets ... are served by more than one airport," the letter observed. "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 who have benefited from increased competition."

As evidence of the economic growth to be gained from repealing the Wright Amendment, the letter cited a recent study from the Campbell-Hill Aviation Group that estimated the American Right to Fly Act would create $4.2 billion in annual savings and economic growth for passengers and markets within and beyond the seven-state limit. North Texas alone would see an annual increase of $1.7 billion due to increased travel within the region.

"Our groups strongly support efforts to remove outdated restrictions from Love Field and encourage free market competition among airline carriers," the statement concluded. "Eliminating wasteful and economically-harmful restrictions on the economy is common sense."

NTU is a non-partisan citizen group working for lower taxes, smaller government, and greater economic freedom at all levels. Note: The text of the letter, along with NTU Policy Paper 117, Time to Re-deregulate the Airline Industry, is available online at www.ntu.org.