RELEASE: CAA Statement On New Coalition Aimed At Blocking Modernization Of 1960s Era Perimeter Rule

New Political Effort Comes Even As New Poll Shows Northern Virginia Residents Oppose Current DCA Perimeter Rule By Two-To-One Margin

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Washington, D.C. – The Capital Access Alliance (CAA), a coalition of transportation and business leaders from Virginia and around the country seeking to make air travel to and from Washington, D.C. more accessible and affordable, today made the following statement regarding the launch of a new coalition that purports to stand for protecting America’s regional airports even though legislation introduced in Congress to modernize the antiquated DCA perimeter rule would only potentially benefit regional airports.

“For any regional airports concerned about maintaining access to and from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, they should support, not oppose, the bipartisan Direct Capital Access Act (H.R. 3185),” CAA spokesman and Northern Virginia resident Brian Walsh said today. “Each of them could potentially benefit from additional service since the DCA Act calls for adding 28 in- and beyond-perimeter direct flights at DCA, not swapping or removing flights. Claims from bill opponents that suggest otherwise are completely without merit and aimed at misleading the public, in-perimeter communities and even Members of Congress, which rightfully rely on direct access to Washington D.C.  The DCA Act is aimed at giving air travelers more choices at lower prices and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that those opposing it are trying to limit competition and maintain the status quo in Washington with fictitious arguments.”  

CAA released a new survey last week of more than 1,000 Virginia residents that found the majority of voters in the Commonwealth support modernizing the 1960s perimeter rule and adding more flights at DCA. The poll was conducted by co/efficient, a national research and analytics company with more than 30 years of experience in political, nonprofit and corporate campaigns, including a number of statewide campaigns in the Commonwealth.

Key findings from the poll included:

  • A significantly low number of Virginians across all demographics are aware of the perimeter rule – only 21 percent of individuals surveyed.
  • In Northern Virginia, more than two-thirds of the population remains unaware of the perimeter rule.
  • Affordability is the key factor for public support of modernizing the perimeter rule, with more than 76 percent supporting efforts to lower ticket prices.
  • When hearing an explanation of the perimeter rule, voters in the Commonwealth oppose it by a two-to-one margin.
  • Nearly six out of ten (57 percent) Northern Virginia residents support reforming the perimeter rule, and only 22 percent believe it should be kept as is.

DCA is the only airport in the country subject to the federally imposed perimeter rule and restrictions on the number of flights allowed beyond the 1,250-mile perimeter. Congressmen Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Burgess Owens (R-UT) recently introduced the bipartisan Direct Capital Access Act – or DCA Act – that would add 28 in-and beyond-perimeter flights at DCA, which would be allocated among all the airlines that currently serve the airport.

new study details with supporting data that DCA is an underutilized airport and has the capacity to add dozens more flights – especially given its recent $1 billion expansion. Additional flights would help boost competition, lower ticket prices and give thousands more daily passengers direct access to and from DCA. In addition, more flights would strengthen the national capital region’s economy by generating up to $400 million in economic value and creating more than 1,000 local jobs.

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.