Fort Worth City Council Reacts to Airports Proposal

Several Fort Worth City Council members say they're open to the idea of forming a regional airport authority, in hopes of solving the squabbles surrounding Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and Dallas Love Field.

"Bush Intercontinental and Hobby don't compete with each other," he said.

"They complement each other because they have pretty distinct and specific customer bases. There are many communities where you will have two different airports governed by two different entities, and it doesn't always result in smooth coordination and the ideal availability of travel options."

One example is international travel.

Houston is able to save money by consolidating a lot of the customs and border protection into Bush Intercontinental and running only domestic commercial flights from Hobby.

Councilman Carter Burdette said he thinks it's worth exploring the possibility of a regional airport authority.

"It's important that we get this matter resolved one way or another," he said.

Jungus Jordan heads the Fort Worth City Council's infrastructure committee, which oversees the city's airports, among other things.

He's said he doesn't know whether an airport authority would be good or bad.

To a certain degree, he labels himself "a doubting Thomas" on the idea.

"I just really have misgivings about changing something that could endanger D/FW to the detriment of citizens on the western half of the Metroplex," he said.

Several local leaders said the two cities need to do something soon to stop the squabbling and prevent legislators from other parts of the country from changing the Wright Amendment without knowing the consequences in North Texas.

Johnson said some kind of serious resolution needs to surface over the next 12 months.

"If we're going to seriously go to the table to work something out, it's going to have to be manifested this year or it'll be assumed that it's not going to happen," she said.

Johnson added that she might even check with Miller sometime soon to see how the talks with Moncrief are going.

And if it doesn't work to create a regional airport authority, the world's third-busiest airport must get more aggressive, Haskin said.

"D/FW just needs to go over there and buy Love Field," Haskin said. "The damage is done. We were cheated out of a unified effort before."

Aviation consultant Mike Boyd, of the Boyd Group in Evergreen, Colo., was doubtful that a new airport authority could solve the Wright Amendment debate.

"It's a gigantic waste of time," he said. Even if the two airports were merged, he said, "you'd still have Southwest Airlines wanting to expand and American Airlines fighting it tooth and nail."

A new governing board "would just be a big Rodney King, can-we-all-get-along bureaucracy that would solve nothing."

He predicted, however, that any serious attempt to create a regional airport authority would have some clear winners: "The consultants who would be hired for the inevitable round of economic studies."

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