Capital Access Alliance Statement Endorsing Bipartisan Compromise To Improve Affordable Air Travel To Washington, D.C.

Amendment Introduced By Representatives Burgess Owens & Hank Johnson Is A Pragmatic Compromise That Would Increase Competition & Lower Ticket Prices

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 in response to an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill introduced by Representatives Burgess Owens (R-UT) and Hank Johnson (D-GA) that would add seven flight pairs at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). These new flights would be allocated toward both in- or beyond-perimeter destinations.

“This compromise proposal represents an important step forward in giving consumers more choice and control in how they travel, while allowing the broader FAA bill to move forward expeditiously,” said CAA spokesperson Brian Walsh. “The outdated perimeter rule has resulted in Washington, D.C. having some of the highest ticket prices in the country, and while that may benefit some airlines who want to protect the status quo, it hurts consumers who deserve more choices.”  

“Improving affordable access to Washington, D.C. has garnered strong support from diverse and prominent voices nationwide, underscoring the importance and urgency of taking action. As lawmakers work to pass the FAA Reauthorization bill in the coming days, we encourage the full U.S. House to support the Owens-Johnson Amendment and include it in the final legislation,” concluded Walsh. 

DCA is the only airport in the country subject to the federally imposed perimeter rule, which sets an arbitrary limit on the number of long-distance flights. The Owens-Johnson Amendment would add just 25 percent of the flights originally proposed in the bipartisan Direct Capital Access Act (H.R. 3185). Data from the FAA shows there are multiple blocks of time each day where DCA has the capacity to add more flights safely. Airlines and the FAA would work together to add new flights during these slower periods throughout the day.

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. 

Learn more about Capital Access Alliance HERE.