Out, Damn Slots

Regulatory news today from the Department of Transportation: it's officially canceling the slot auction system that the Bush administration attempted to use to reduce congestion in the New York megalopolis.  The system, wherein airlines would compete for "slots," or runway time at New York's three major airports, has never been put into play because of ongoing lawsuits. Lobbyists for Big Airplane Companies overwhelmed the regulatory comment process. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood says in a statement that he'll continue to work with all stakeholders "over the summer" to figure out ways to reduce congestion. Nice of him to make this a priority. It's true that the economic crisis has reduce demand for airplane tickets and has reduced congestion on its own, so the public isn't clamoring for delay-less La Guardia runways. 

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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