Comes As Suburb Drops Its Objections To Deal
It was a case of one
step forward, one step back this week for supporters of the
agreement to end the fight over the Wright Amendment in North
Texas... as a major victory was followed shortly afterward by a
But first, the good news for proponents of the deal reached last
month between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, DFW Airport, and
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines: McKinney's now
Officials with the growing suburb about 30 miles north of Dallas
had taken issue with a stipulation in the agreement that would
discourage airports within 80 miles of Love Field from attracting
commercial airline service.
After taking another look at the language, however... McKinney
mayor Bill Whitfield says city leaders are now satisfied that the
current language does not adversely affect those airports.
In fact, Whitfield went even further, adding the compromise
ensures a more level playing field for cities wanting to attract
That about-face is a significant step forward for the Wright deal,
which is currently being mulled over in Congress.
However, despite that victory there's also that step back we
mentioned... as the owners of the vacant Legend terminal at Love
Field filed suit Monday against the city of Dallas, over its plans
to demolish the little-used, but fairly new terminal in order to
reduce gate space at the inner-city airport.
The suit calls the Wright agreement "a wildly pernicious and
anti-competitive arrangement to limit carrier operations and
consumer choices for air travelers in North Texas" -- some of the
strongest words yet in the battle over control of Love Field.
The owners of the private terminal also claim Dallas mayor Laura
Miller's plans to demolish the Legend building interfered with
their plan to attract new business to the terminal, in the form of
Northwest regional subsidiary Pinnacle Airlines.
As of this writing, no comment yet from the city of Dallas, or
American... but a spokesman for Southwest says the suit is "another
bump in the road trying to undermine" what that carrier believes is
in the best interest of North Texas travelers.