Regulation and Deregulation of Small Community Air Service

1280px-n216ag_at_seatac“I think that the key question that confronts the Committee now, as it has in the past, is in a deregulated environment, are we going to move toward a system where basically most people in America who live outside of a major hub airport have to drive for hours to access air service? I don’t think that is an acceptable future for the Country, for our small and mid-size communities, in the deregulated environment. It is going to require government intervention.”

–Representative Peter DeFazio
House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Subcomittee on Avaiation
April 25, 2007

In a Market-Based System, Airports Know What is Best for Their Communities

Congress has charged the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with responsibility to ensure that federally-obligated airports:

  • are available for public use on fair and reasonable terms without unjust economic discrimination;
  • that airport revenue is only used for legitimate airport purposes; and
  • any non-aeronautical activities will not adversely affect the safety, utility and efficiency of an airport

Many of the undesirable features of these rules were never mandated by Congress, but rather were inventions by the DOT and FAA.

By strictly adhering to the meaning of three areas above, it would allow local communities much greater flexibility, including the adoption of air service incentive and marketing programs by/through the airport operator, that would effectively address urgent community needs while at the same time complying with the acts of Congress.