Dallas airport dispute goes to Washington DC

Thursday, November 10th 2005, 10:43 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The head of a a US Senate panel Thursday opened a hearing on the Wright Amendment that prevents Southwest Airlines from offering long-distance, non-stop flights from its base at Love Field in Dallas.

The law was adopted in 1979 to support Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in its early years, but Southwest is asking that it be repealed.

DFW and its main carrier, American Airlines, oppose repealing the amendment.

Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma is critical of Southwest's effort, saying if they want to monopolize the airline industry they can do that from Dallas-Fort Worth.

American has a large maintenance base in Tulsa and Inhofe says the airline is the eighth-largest employer in the state.

Fort Worth Congresswoman Kay Granger says the amendment is a compromise that's lasted and worked well. And Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas says the issue is a local one and local leaders should be the ones to come up with a resolution.