FAA Fight May Net Sea-Tac New Delta Flight to Congress’ Favorite Airport

Seattle passengers may reap the benefits of a monthslong congressional fight over adding more flights to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport outside Washington, D.C.

Delta announced this month that it will seek federal approval for the coveted flight slot. The proposal has support from the Port of Seattle, which drafted a letter Friday to the U.S. Department of Transportation asking that the route be considered.

If approved, Delta would compete with Alaska Airlines, which is the only airline to run daily nonstop flights between Seattle and Reagan airport, the closest commercial airport to the U.S. Capitol.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will decide by mid-July which airlines and cities get the spots as part of an agreement in the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization act, which required that the airport add five additional long-haul flights.

Slots at Reagan are highly coveted for the airport’s proximity to Washington, D.C., especially those for long-distance flights at the primarily short-haul airport. Aside from the daily Alaska flights, other airlines fly out of Dulles International Airport, which is about 30 miles from Washington D.C., or Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, which requires about a 40-mile commute.

The Reagan slots were one of the mostly hotly debated issues on the $105 billion FAA reauthorization act, which passed in May after months of negotiations led in part by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett. Neither Cantwell’s office nor Larsen’s responded to questions about Delta’s plans.

Read the full article from the Seattle Times HERE.