LUV IS CHEAP

On November 29, in a post on CBS11’s discovery that Love Field charges Southwest a tenth of what DFW charges airlines for landing fees, Tim quoted Mayor Miller as follows:

“I’d be surprised if any council member here knew we were running Love at a deficit.”

That statement has bothered me ever since. Today I figured out why. I direct the City Council and Mayor Miller to this City Auditor’s report on Love Field, presented to the City Council on January 14, 2005. On page 11 the auditor notes:

“Review of the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report shows that Aviation had operating losses in FY 02 and FY 03. Aviation’s FY 04 budget and proposed budget for FY 05 reflect a deficit.”

The auditor also notes the FAA requires airports to be self-sustaining and that the city’s own ordinance defines it as an “enterprise zone”-where “the costs of providing goods or services…are financed or recovered primarily through user charges.”

No wonder Southwest is the nation’s most profitable airline. The taxpayers of Dallas have been subsidizing it for years. Illegally. And neither the mayor nor the City Council ever bothered to read their own financial statements that told them so.

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