2014 Archives

D/FW Airport supporters await possible impact of Wright amendment’s end


The following ran in the Jan. 10, 2013, edition of the Dallas Morning News. Economist Bernard Weinstein provided expertise for this story.

January 13, 2014

By Terry Maxon

On Oct. 13, the Wright amendment ends.

That law, enacted in 1980, put limits on airlines flying out of Dallas Love Field. Carriers flying aircraft with more than 56 seats could not offer nonstop or through service beyond nearby states.

But Dallas and Fort Worth officials, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and the airlines agreed in 2006 to let the law expire this year. With that, Southwest Airlines and other carriers can fly from Love to any U.S. airport.

But how big an effect will that new freedom at Love have on D/FW Airport? Before the 2006 deal, the predictions were harrowing.

“With repeal of the Wright amendment, D/FW Airport could lose up to 204 daily flights and up to 21 million passengers annually,” consultants SH&E warned.

Now, though, any warnings aren’t nearly as dire. In recent interviews, North Texas economists played down any major harm to the larger airport.

“I don’t think the repeal of the Wright amendment is going to be any big whoop,” Bernard Weinstein, associate director of Southern Methodist University’s Maguire Energy Institute, said in a recent interview....