View Full Version : The Wright Amendment

08-02-2005, 03:29 AM
The Wright Amendment is a federal law made in 1979 that limits flights from Dallas' Love Field to destination within Texas and its surrounding states.

Love is a "close-in" airport in Dallas, and is Southwest's headquarters, but they cannot flight transcontinental flights from there because of this legislation. Because of this, WN is trying to repeal the law.

American Airlines feels threatened because Southwest having the chance to fly all over the country from Dallas will give them a run for their money, literally, since flights out of Dallas-Fort Worth are extremely expensive.

Though the Mayor of Dallas, Laura Miller, is on the board of DFW, but is considering sponsoring and repeal because she sees how much the expensive flights into DFW limit business opportunities in the city.

Personally, the law reminds me a lot of the Perimeter Rule that we have here in New York that limits LGA flights to 1,500 miles as a way to spread out the route system and give JFK its fair share of transcontinental flights. Some years ago, Delta went to Congress to change the Perimeter Rule so they could fly to their hub in Salt Lake City, but lost.

Southwest was also offered Delta's old setup at DFW, but they turned it down, claiming it was not worth moving having massive operations at two airports in one city.

On the other hand, I think the American should be offering more competitive prices, and I think that maybe repealing this law would be very fair to the people of Dallas. I love American, but welcome to Capitalism. The industry is doing bad and I think at least one airline, maybe two, is going to have to drop before we see significant improvements.

08-02-2005, 12:51 PM
One has to remember why the Wright Amendment was put into place in the late 70's. The city of Dallas was growing by leaps and bounds and Love Field simply couldn't handle the traffic the city demanded for its future growth hence the reason DFW was built.

Now if you’re in business you know how hard change is for some people. Without the Wright Amendment who knows how successful DFW would have been and it would have been a burden on the tax payers to pay for two airports. So the airlines were forced to use the new airport.

Now that was in 1979 and now its 2005 and DFW is a highly established hub airport that more then likely would not suffer any ill effect from Southwest increasing its offerings from LUV. It comes down to who offers the customer the best product for their money. I hardly doubt AA will sit back let Southwest lull their customers away from DFW. Dallas is also a rapidly growing city with transportation needs and shouldn't relay on just one airport. I say lift the Wright Amendment and SET LOVE FREE.

08-03-2005, 02:51 AM
all politics aside the question that needs to be asked before repealing the law is simple, can the airport handle the traffic increase once they repeal. we don't want a repeat of LGA from 10 years back. eveything factors in here. transcons require more fuel, meaning they are heavier on the ramp than shorter flying airplanes. it may be good for business to increase traffic for some, but it may just ruin the field if it's not properly prepared.

08-03-2005, 02:54 AM
Great point, Matt. I am not familiar enough with how many flights Love operates a day and what its capacity is, so this might be a great point.

I wonder how much, if at all, American would protest if WN took DFW up on the offer to operate out of there as well. What argument would they use then?

08-03-2005, 06:58 AM
I'm sure Love will be more then capable handling the increased traffic. Remember Love was once a major airport with service all around the country. Yes the infrastructure will have to be updated and rebuilt but I don't see Southwest being shy about spending what money it has to, too further increase its market share in the south. Hell they spent almost 100 million just on the Islip terminal.