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Mon, May 22, 2006

Planes Diverted From Dallas Airport During Neighbor's Noise News Conference

See? Love Field Is REAL Quiet... Honest!

Relative quiet in the skies over a neighborhood where residents are holding a news conference to complain about airplane noise would seem to defeat the purpose of the news conference, right? Well, that appears to have been the case near Love Field in Dallas, TX last week, where Richard Medrano and his neighbors spoke with reporters about their recently-filed complaint against the airport.

As it turns out, however, that silence may have been at least somewhat by design. The Associated Press reports that Southwest Airlines -- the main player at Love -- diverted three of its flights from the airport over the course of the 45-minute news conference.

That was confirmed to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram by an FAA official, who says the flights were diverted at the request of Southwest Airlines.

Medrano, who also sits on the board of DFW International -- Love Field's main rival -- wants Congress to keep the 1979 Wright Amendment in place. That legislation limits the number of destinations available to flights from Love Field.

Southwest, of course, is lobbying to undo the Wright Amendment -- which it says unfairly hampers air carrier competition in North Texas.

In spite of statements from the FAA confirming the diversions, Southwest says it knows nothing about them... but that didn't stop Medrano from "thanking" Southwest CEO Herb Kelleher for diverting the flights.

FMI: www.southwest.com

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