Federal court delays slot auctions at JFK, LaGuardia

By Philip Newman

A federal appeals court Monday blocked a plan by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct auctions of airline landing and takeoff slots at John F.Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia  Airport and Newark Liberty Airport.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a frequent critic of the slot auction plan, called the ruling “just what the doctor ordered” and suggested the decision would lead to the demise of the Bush administration plan that was to have been held Jan.12.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the slot  auction could not be held until a federal court rules on objections from New York airport officials and airlines.

The Air Transportation Association representing U.S. airlines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had sued to stop the slot auctions.

 The U.S. Department of Transportation, which oversees the FAA, had conceived of the slot auctions to relieve congestion at the three New York airports, which have long been at the bottom of  the list of the nation’s most delayed airports.

The airlines had protested, saying the byproducts of slot auctions would be a loss of revenue, alienation of the flying public and overall chaos.

 “This decision is exactly what the doctor ordered,” Schumer said.”This decision should buy enough time for the  next administration and Congress to put slot auctions on the shelf for good.”

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