HOW NOT TO RUN AN AIRPORT

The News this morning carries a disturbing story on Love Field’s financial losses by Katie Fairbank and Tanya Eiserer (and not, interestingly, chief aviation reporter Eric Torbenson). I’ve been preaching on this subject for months, as have the diligent reporters over at CBS11 and the Star-Telegram.

But there is a larger issue involved.

As I wrote three months ago:

Dallas is the only city where two or more airports are not owned by the same public entity. To my mind, it’s an embarrassment that we haven’t already seen the economies of scale that would flow from operating two airports only 12 miles apart. Houston has done it. Chicago has. LA has. New York has, even though one of its airports, Newark, is in a different state.

DFW Airport needs to take over management of Love Field. Maybe then landing fees, which, as the News reports, were set by the City Council–19 years ago!–at $.35 could be brought up to the market level of $1.35 to $1.69 paid at Midway Airport. Also by turning DFW Airport into a de facto regional airport authority the whole Battle of the Monopolies–Southwest vs. American–in which fights to maintain its special privileges could be turned into a true competitive battle that would benefit Dallas consumers.

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