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Cooper Praises Agreement but Says Delay in Repealing Wright Amendment Wrong for Middle Tennessee

Location: Washington, DC


U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper today praised a recent agreement to repeal the Wright Amendment but said that waiting eight years to fully implement the deal is unfair to Nashville.

"For 26 years now, the Wright Amendment has limited our ability to get the lowest priced tickets when traveling to Dallas and North Texas. I am glad to see that all the parties involved in this debate have agreed that this practice is wrong and must stop," Cooper said. "But if the Wright Amendment was wrong all along, why is eight more years of wrong right? They shouldn't continue to penalize Nashville travelers by denying them direct service to Dallas."

Cooper has long been a cosponsor of legislation in the House of Representatives calling for the amendment's repeal. The Wright Amendment, which limits the number of destinations airlines can fly to from Dallas's Love Field, became law in 1980. It was designed to encourage flights into the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport. Southwest Airlines has been seeking changes in the law for years. For example, the Wright Amendment currently prohibits Southwest from offering flights between Nashville and Love Field, even though the airline serves both airports.

The City of Dallas, the City of Ft. Worth, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and DFW International Airport recently announced they have reached a tentative agreement to seek legislation to repeal the Wright Amendment. Under the agreement, airlines serving Dallas' Love Field will be able to offer direct ticketing to destinations within the 50 states after eight years following the enactment of legislation. In the meantime, through ticketing from Dallas's Love Field will be available.

"The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority strongly endorses any enhanced service from Music City and the Mid-South, and our goal is to provide the most competitive environment possible to ensure that our customers are the ultimate beneficiaries," said Raul Regalado, President & CEO of the MNAA. "The tentative agreement among the four parties will result in greater convenience and affordability for our customers. Repeal of the Wright Amendment will allow for a competitive environment, and we are hopeful that Congress will approve the agreement."

Cooper said he will be working to make sure a bill calling for the repeal is voted on in the House before the end of the year.

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