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Fri, Mar 14, 2003

NATA to FAA, TSA: Let My Airport Go!

Reagan National Still Held Hostage

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has filed a petition with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to reopen Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to non-scheduled air carriers. The airport has been closed to such operations since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. 

"The closure of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to all but scheduled flight operations conducted under Part 121 is creating serious harm for the traveling public and for NATA's members certificated to operate non-scheduled commercial service under Part 135 air carrier regulations," stated NATA president James Coyne. "The closure unfairly, unreasonably and unlawfully discriminates against an important sector of the aviation industry -- commercial non-scheduled air carriers. It is time for the federal government to take action to eliminate this harmful discriminatory treatment."

No more excuses...

Additionally, NATA states in the petition that the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA's) "Twelve-Five Rule," which goes into effect on April 1, will offer a "well-defined and state-of-the-art regime addressing the security of these aircraft operations. As a result, no additional barrier preventing this class of operator from accessing DCA will exist except for the imposition of the security rules and procedures specific to the airport itself."

"The FAA needs to recognize the intrinsic right of access to publicly funded airports guaranteed by the Federal Aviation Act," added Coyne. "For non-scheduled air carriers to be treated like second-class citizens in inexcusable. The petition is only the first step in making sure that we get access to DCA now. This is the only airport with direct and immediate access to the nation's capital. There is no viable reason to continue to deny non-scheduled air carriers access to this airport."

The petition filing is part of a large, coalition-based effort sponsored by NATA. The coalition, dubbed WECAN (Working for Equitable Commercial Access to National) is comprised of local business and elected officials in the Washington, D.C., area who support fully reopening DCA to non-scheduled commercial air carriers.

FMI: www.nata-online.org; www.faa.gov

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