Sen. Warnock joins support for more long-haul flights at Reagan National

By: Cuneyt Dil

Axios D.C., June 13, 2023

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) joined the side of Delta Airlines in supporting expanding long-haul flights out of Reagan National Airport.

Driving the news: Warnock and Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) on Tuesday introduced a Senate bill, joining a growing group of bipartisan lawmakers who wants to ease a federal rule limiting long-distance flights out of National, which is mere miles from downtown D.C.

Why it matters: The chance to open up National has spurred heavy lobbying in Congress — and opponents in the D.C. region are ringing alarm bells that the small, delay-prone airport cannot handle more long-haul flights.

What they’re saying: “Our nation’s capital should be easily accessible for all Americans, and it’s a shame that the barriers to access the city are often too much for people in Wyoming and out West to overcome,” Lummis said in a statement to Axios.

Catch up fast: Delta, along with several business groups and lawmakers from the West, is supporting a coalition called Capital Access Alliance, which commissioned a study in April that called National’s “perimeter rule” an “antiquated” relic that drives up airfares.

  • The proposal, which also has bipartisan support in the House, would add 28 roundtrip flights outside the 1,250 perimeter rule. There are currently 20 roundtrip flights exempted from the rule.

Read the full article from Axios D.C. here.