Incorrect Understanding of Wright and Shelby Amendments

My understanding of the Wright and Shelby amendments, which regulate air travel out of Dallas’s Love Field airport, was incorrect. I was in good company: even the Dallas Morning News has it wrong!

According to a 1998 US DOT news release, it appears that the 1979 Wright Amendment permits passenger air travel from Love Field, partially upending a then-11 year old agreement between Dallas and Ft. Worth. Under this agreement, Dallas and Ft. Worth will not use their respective airports to compete against DFW Airport. The 1997 Shelby Amendment enhances the Wright Amendment’s permissiveness by allowing flights to go to 3 more states and also allowing no destination restrictions on flights using planes with fewer than 56 seats. (It is humorous to note that Senator Richard Shelby, the amendment’s namesake, is from Alabama, one of these 3 additional states.)

So without the federal Wright or Shelby Amendments, there may be no passenger air travel out of Dallas Love Field.

Edit: See the comment left in the comments section below. (Click on the Comments link.) Simply repealing the Wright Amendment is not enough; that would invite another round of local lawsuits from Fort Worth, American Airlines, and DFW. Congress needs to clearly say that there shall be no restrictions on flights on Love Field.

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