From the New York Times City Room, “U.S. Won’t Auction Airport Landing Slots“:
The United States Department of Transportation has canceled a plan to auction landing slots at New York City’s three airports, officials announced on Wednesday, bringing an end to a widely criticized effort by the Bush administration to use market incentives to reduce congestion and delays.
“We’re still serious about tackling aviation congestion in the New York region,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in Manhattan on Wednesday in remarks to the Association for a Better New York. “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.” [Links in original.]
An auction would let prices help clear demand for landing slots, and would therefore reduce congestion into and out of the three New York airports that were targeted by the proposal. The administration, by avoiding auctions, chooses to continue to clear the market by making people wait instead. Since some of that waiting is done by people flying around in large jets, burning jet fuel and emitting stuff, there are environmental consequences to the administration’s status quo approach.
(HT to Sandy Ikeda)