Posts Tagged ‘DCA Act’
June 20th, 2023 at 3:43 pm
What Is the DCA Act and How Would It Improve Air Travel?
Posted by Print

The bipartisan Direct Capital Access (DCA) Act – recently introduced in both the United States House of Representatives and Senate – aims to reform antiquated legislation from 1966 artificially restricting nonstop flights into and out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Since the DCA Act (H.R. 3185, S. 1933) was introduced in the House by Congressmen Burgess Owens (R – Utah) and Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) and in the Senate by Senators Cynthia Lummis (R – Wyoming) and Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia), opponents have lobbed false claims about its impact on regional airports.

Accordingly, it’s time to clear up any confusion and provide the corrective facts.

As background, the DCA Act would make travel to and from the Washington, D.C. region easier and more affordable for Americans by updating a decades-old “perimeter rule” federal regulation. That rule from 1966 limits direct flights to and from Reagan National Airport (DCA) to destinations within a 1,250 mile “perimeter.” The rule is a relic of a bygone era of air travel that only kneecaps modern travelers with fewer direct flight options and higher ticket prices.

As the DCA Act has gained support from lawmakers, several self-interested parties like the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) recently partnered with United Airlines to stop efforts to increase access to the nation’s capital region because the current antiquated restrictions benefit them.

Let’s Set the Record Straight:

MYTH: Groups working with MWAA and United Airlines falsely claim that any changes to the 1966 perimeter rule would harm regional airports and their communities.

FACT: The DCA Act would only add more incoming and outgoing flights, not replace or eliminate any existing flights that currently service regional airports. There are only additional benefits here!

MYTH: Those who oppose more airline competition and lower ticket prices for their own benefit falsely claim that Reagan National Airport currently operates at maximum capacity, and cannot handle increased traffic from additional flights.

FACT: A recent study released by Capital Access Alliance revealed that not only does Reagan National have the capacity to handle many more flights per day, but also that MWAA’s recent Project Journey $1 billion expansion provided passengers at DCA with more post-security space and a new 14-gate concourse. That created more than what is needed to accommodate higher passenger volumes and more direct flights to Reagan National.

MYTH: Another false claim is that the DCA Act must be opposed in order to strengthen and protect regional airports across America.

FACT: Only a handful of members of the Coalition to Protect America’s Airports, the United Airlines/MWAA-supported group attempting to block the DCA Act, maintain direct flights from Reagan National. What they really advocate is keeping a nearly 60-year-old perimeter rule established by Congress to stifle competition and limit choices that Americans can make on air travel resulting in higher costs.

The facts are clear. Those who oppose the DCA Act are endorsing protectionist policies that prevent Americans from enjoying more convenience and affordable choices. It’s time to modernize.

Tell Congress to act and support the DCA Act.