Dallas' deadline for reaching a compromise is Wednesday. Fort Worth's is Aug. 1. And any compromise that the two cities reach isn't necessarily binding. The airlines could continue their appeals in Congress regardless.
American Airlines spokesman Roger Frizzell said that voting Wednesday would be premature and that the council hasn't sought any input -- whether from concerned citizens or cities around the state. American feels decisions are being rushed, he said.
"What is the urgency? Why is this being rushed through this process?" he asked. "We have to ... make sure no stones go unturned."
Southwest spokesman Ed Stewart said the only way Southwest will feel comfortable with a council vote on Wednesday is if the Wright amendment's repeal is immediate, and Southwest gets to keep most of its gates.
"Tell me the good news, and we can go ahead and vote," Mr. Stewart said. "But if you tell us something ridiculous. ... Right now, there's been a lot of discussion, a lot of rumors. But no one knows the exact details on the who, the what, the why."
For their part, Dallas City Council members appeared divided on whether they would be ready to vote for a Wright resolution by Wednesday.
Some, like Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Elba Garcia and council member Ed Oakley, said that if the resolution was the same as outlined by Ms. Miller on Thursday, they'll be ready.
"If it's agreeable to both sides, I'll be supporting it," Dr. Garcia said.
Others -- like Mr. Griffith, Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, and council member Ron Natinsky -- said they either weren't comfortable with the level of public input or thought a Wednesday vote would be premature.
"We're raising the specter that we might vote on this without letting the public have some discussion on this," Mr. Hill said, talking heatedly with several of his colleagues after a Monday committee meeting. "I've received so many e-mails. We haven't talked to the citizens about this."
While some council members said they expected to see the vote on Wednesday's agenda, several others said they were given no warning. And nearly all of them still seemed confused about the status of the mayor's negotiations and about whether the terms had changed since their Thursday briefing.
They aren't the only ones. Both the pro-repeal Friends of Love Field and the Wright-friendly (and American Airlines-funded) Stop-and-Think have called on the mayors to allow more public comment on the flight restrictions.
As of Monday, a final version of the council-commissioned study on the effects of lifting the Wright amendment had not been released publicly. Council members who saw the document said it jibed with media reports Friday on the details of the mayors' resolution -- citing a section on "cutting the gates down to 20." But they also said consultants from DMJM Aviation, the firm that designed Love Field's five-year-old master plan and was commissioned for the $150,000 update, wouldn't let them keep the report.
"I asked for it, and they wouldn't give it to me," council member Mitchell Rasansky said.
Sources close to the negotiations say that the mayors grew closer to a resolution over the weekend and that they were a few small details away from a compromise.
It's a plan that has clearly evolved. One high-ranking Dallas official said Monday that at one point, the mayors were considering a resolution that would call for immediately lifting flight restrictions from Love to some of Southwest's top airports, including Las Vegas; Phoenix; Nashville, Tenn.; and Orlando, Fla. That's no longer being discussed.
And some council members, including Mr. Oakley, still are demanding that Fort Worth forgo passenger service at its smaller airports -- including Alliance and Meacham -- as part of any compromise. A spokesman for Ross Perot Jr.'s Hillwood Properties, which developed Alliance Airport, declined to comment on the negotiations.
The City Council passed a resolution asking Congress to postpone action on the controversial Wright Amendment until after June 14.
The City Council unanimously approved a resolution asking Congress to postpone action on the controversial Wright Amendment until after June 14.
After their June 1 deadline passed without a local accord, two Texas Congressman plan to redouble their efforts to win House approval of the Wright Amendment.
The debate has reached the final stages of working out the details, and will likely be completed by late Wednesday or early Thursday.