LULAC Board Opposes Repeal of the Wright Amendment

LULAC Board Opposes Repeal of the Wright Amendment



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Milwaukee, WI–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 13, 2005–The National Executive Committee of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest and largest Hispanic civil rights organization in the United States, voted to support leaving the Wright Amendment intact and encourage all airlines serving the Dallas/Fort Worth market to focus on bringing new and expanded air service to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

LULAC board members based their decision on the concerns of Hispanic residents surrounding Dallas Love Field Airport that repeal or modification of the Wright Amendment would lead to increased air traffic and negatively affect their quality of life. The board also cited economic uncertainty in the airline industry as a reason not to dramatically alter the competitive playing field in the Dallas/Fort Worth market.

“Now is not the time to repeal the Wright Amendment,” stated LULAC National President Hector M. Flores. “Repeal of the Wright Amendment would increase financial pressures on DFW airlines, many of which already have serious financial challenges. Instead of repealing or modifying the Wright Amendment, we should support steps that will get our airlines back into good financial health.”

LULAC officials also expressed concern that the repeal of the Wright Amendment would lead to an increase in air traffic at Love Field, a move that is opposed by Hispanic residents surrounding Love Field. “Our first priority is to represent the interests of the Latino community,” stated Joe Campos, Manager of the LULAC Executive Office in Irving. “Latinos in the neighborhoods surrounding Love Field clearly do not want to see the Wright Amendment repealed and we support that position 100 percent.”

The LULAC National Committee passed the attached resolution outlining the organization’s position on the Wright Amendment. The organization will communicate this resolution to members of Congress encouraging them to keep the Wright Amendment intact.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

RESOLUTION

In support of bringing new and expanded air service to Dallas/Fort Worth international airport

WHEREAS, the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth joined to design, finance, construct, build and support Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW Airport); and

WHEREAS, these owner cities adopted joint bond ordinances agreeing to “take such steps as may be necessary, appropriate and legally permissible…to provide for orderly, efficient and effective phase out at Love Field, Red Bird, GSIA and Meacham Field of all commercial airlines and to transfer such activity to DFW Airport;” and

WHEREAS, the airlines sued and won the limited right to fly “intrastate” services out of Love Field; and

WHEREAS, Southwest Airlines only operated “intrastate” flights out of Love Field from 1973 to 1978; and

WHEREAS, in 1979, Southwest Airlines sought to fly “intrastate” traffic out of Love Field over the objections of the city of Dallas, the city of Fort Worth and DFW Airport; and

WHEREAS, in an effort to settle this dispute, a compromise was agreed to by all parties, including Southwest Airlines, which provided for new and expanded “intrastate” air service from Love Field to the four states contiguous to Texas; and

WHEREAS, this legislative compromise, known as the “Wright Amendment,” has provided a fair, equitable, and mutually beneficial agreement to an issue that has been debated in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for many years; and

WHEREAS, Delta Air Lines announced in September 2004 that it will eliminate its hub at DFW Airport, reducing its daily operations from 254 to 21, resulting in 7,000 jobs being lost and over $782 million in total loss to the entire north Texas economy; and

WHEREAS, on November 12, 2004, Southwest announced its intention to seek repeal of the Wright Amendment in order to provide service out of Love Field beyond that allowed under the agreement; and

WHEREAS, this attempt to repeal this long-standing compromise comes at a time in the DFW Airport’s history when it faces an estimated $50 million in lost annual revenue directly resulting from Delta Air Lines’ elimination of its hub and also confronts the prospect of paying off a six fold increase in its debt load as its completes its five-year, $2.7 billion capital development program; and

WHEREAS, any changes to the legislative compromise, which could siphon traffic from DFW Airport to Love Field, would have a detrimental effect upon DFW at a critical time when the aviation industry remains in economic uncertainty; and

WHEREAS, the Hispanic community surrounding Love Field is opposed to increasing the number of flights coming into and out of Love Field that the repeal of the Wright Amendment would generate; and

WHEREAS, Southwest Airlines could choose to take advantage of the vacated Delta Air Lines’ gates at DFW Airport and immediately provide new low-cost options to north Texas travelers; and

WHEREAS, DFW Airport can and should channel its resources, not into a long legislative battle, but into securing expanded and new air service options, remaining the economic engine that has generated more than $14 billion in annual activity for north Texas, supported more then 268,000 full time jobs, and serve as the catalyst for international business and tourism growth for the entire region;

Now therefore, be it resolved, that in this time of economic uncertainty for the airline industry, the LULAC National Board of Directors supports leaving the Wright Amendment intact and encourages all parties involved to focus on bringing new and expanded air service to the DFW Airport.

Hector M. Flores, LULAC National President

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CONTACT:

Brenda Alvarez

(202) 833-6130

LULAC Board Opposes Repeal of the Wright Amendment