DOT cancels plans to auction NYC airport slots


US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Wednesday that the federal government was dropping a proposal left over from the Bush administration — re-distributing takeoff and landing slots at New York LaGuardia, New York Kennedy and Newark airports.

Last year, the Department of Transportation attempted to deal with congestion at those airports by proposing to take away some slots from incumbent carriers and auctioning off a lesser number of slots to other airlines.

The Air Transport Association and the airlines successfully stalled that idea in federal court before it could be implemented. LaHood said in a New York speech that the Obama administration was dropping the idea:

“We’re still serious about tackling aviation congestion in the New York region. I’ll be talking with airline, airport and consumer stakeholders, as well as elected officials, over the summer about the best ways to move forward.”

In its press release announcing the change, “the department noted that the rulemaking was highly controversial and that most of those filing comments opposed the slot auctions. The department also noted that circumstances have changed since the rules were issued, including changes in the economy.”

It should also be noted that in March, Newark ranked 31st out of 31 large airports in on-time arrivals, LaGuardia was 30th and JFK was 27th. So the problem has not gone away.

Keep reading for a ranking of the 31 airports. On-time refers to flights that arrive within 14 minutes of schedule.

Airport On-time rate

Salt Lake City 85.9%
Detroit 85.4%
Chicago Midway 84.6%
Cincinnati 84.3%
Baltimore 83.8%
Phoenix 82.9%
St. Louis 82.7%
Los Angeles 82.4%
Minneapolis-St. Paul 82.3%
Orlando 81.9%
Tampa 81.7%
Portland 81.6%
Denver 80.8%
San Diego 80.8%
Dallas/Fort Worth 80.5%
Las Vegas 80.3%
Fort Lauderdale 79.7%
Washington National 79.6%
Washington Dulles 79.6%
Chicago O’Hare 79.1%
Houston Intercontinental 78.5%
Miami 78.4%
Seattle-Tacoma 77.0%
Charlotte 76.9%
Boston 76.6%
Philadelphia 76.5%
New York Kennedy 76.4%
San Francisco 72.8%
Atlanta 64.9%
New York LaGuardia 63.3%
Newark 57.4%
Total 77.8%

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics