Transportation Secretary LaHood Proposes to Cancel Slot Auctions

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announces that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing to rescind plans for slot auctions at New York-area airports. Under the proposal, the Department would halt plans announced last October to withdraw a number of slots from airlines operating at airports in the New York region and auction the slots to the highest bidder.

"We're still serious about tackling aviation congestion in the New York region," said LaHood. "I'll be talking with airline, airport and consumer stakeholders, as well as elected officials, over the summer about the best ways to move forward."

The plans for the auctions for slots at New York’s JFK and LaGuardia Airports and Newark Liberty International Airport were announced by the Department on Oct. 10, 2008. The auctions were proposed as part of a plan to reduce congestion and delays at the region's airports, along with caps on the number of flights per hour at each of the airports. Due to litigation over the rule and a court-ordered stay, the auctions have not taken place.

In proposing to rescind the auctions, the Department noted that the rulemaking was highly controversial and that most of those filing comments opposed the slot auctions. The Department also noted that circumstances have changed since the rules were issued, including changes in the economy.

Comments on the proposed rescinding of the rule will be due 30 days following its publication in the Federal Register. After the comment period ends the Department will review the comments and then issue a final decision.

For more information visit, docket FAA-2008-0517. Comments also will be posted on this site.