Slot Auction Plan May Be Delayed To Death

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A controversial plan by the FAA to forcibly redistribute access to New York airports by selling landing slots to the highest bidder may have been dealt a terminal blow by a Washington, D.C., Appeals Court. In a ruling Monday, the court delayed an auction planned for Jan. 12 until it can hear arguments on whether the auction is legal. The action was launched by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Air Transport Association. The auction was to occur eight days before the swearing in of the new administration, which is now expected to allow the controversial proposal to quietly die. Democratic politicians in New York have been generally opposed to the plan, which they claim will do nothing to ease congestion and will drive up fares.

However, the current administration is going down fighting on the proposal, warning that congestion will keep getting worse. "[The] court decision is bad news for travelers seeking a better flying experience in and out of the New York region," Department of Transportation spokeswoman Sarah Echols told The New York Times. "We are committed to our goal of protecting travelers, giving passengers more options and improving the air travel experience, and will continue to assess our options to provide relief."