Capital Access Alliance Releases Statement Following United-Backed Press Conference On DCA Perimeter Rule

Washington, D.C. – Capital Access Alliance (CAA), a nationwide coalition of business and transportation leaders seeking to make air travel to and from Washington, D.C. more accessible and affordable, released the following statement today following a press conference with several Senators who have joined with United Airlines in opposing modernization of the perimeter rule at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

United Airlines controls 80 percent of the gates at Dulles International Airport (IAD) and is spending millions of dollars on a lobbying campaign, in partnership with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), to preserve the status quo and prevent more competition at DCA. “Modernizing the outdated federal perimeter rule would lower ticket prices and make America’s capital more accessible for millions of air travelers around the country. For residents of the D.C. region, it also means the creation of more than 1,000 new jobs, tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenue and more air travel choices for local residents. That’s why polling shows a majority of Northern Virginia residents support modernizing this 1960s-era regulation and adding more flights at DCA,” said CAA spokesperson and Northern Virginia resident Brian Walsh.

DCA is the only airport in the country subject to a federally-imposed perimeter rule that artificially restricts air travel, and it has led to Washington D.C. having the highest ticket prices in the country among all top metro areas. It is costing consumers hundreds of millions per year in higher-than-average ticket prices and millions of hours in lost productivity because so many travelers have to take connecting flights to and from DCA,” Walsh continued.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) own data shows that DCA has the capacity to safely add more flights during at least three different time blocks each day, and that’s why experienced transportation leaders like former FAA Administrator Michael Huerta have spoken out in support. The bipartisan DCA Act is a long overdue reform that simply gives air travelers more choices when they fly at more affordable costs,” Walsh concluded.

CAA launched last month, a website that outlines the facts about modernizing the 1960s era perimeter rule and adding more flights at DCA, and released a new ad, “Real Talk.” The site and ad set the record straight on the misleading claims being put forward by “The Coalition to Protect America’s Regional Airports,” an organization backed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and United Airlines that aims to block consumers from stronger and more affordable access to Washington, D.C.

About CAA

CAA consists of diverse members from around the country and various industries, including transportation, general business groups, the small business sector, entrepreneurs and job creators, organizations focused on economic development and leaders in the civic and policy communities.