Today, Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after the Department of Transportation announced an order granting beyond-perimeter slot exemptions at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to allow for a new direct flight between DCA and Portland International Airport. On February 17, 2011, the United States Senate approved by voice vote an amendment pushed by Senator Merkley that created these new flights out of DCA.
"Getting additional airline slots in the FAA reauthorization bill in February was a huge victory and today all that hard work by the Port of Portland and Alaska Airlines has paid off. In today's global economy, getting quickly across the country is an important tool for any business wanting to locate or expand in Oregon. Today's news that Alaska Airlines is adding a non-stop flight to Washington, D.C. is a win for Oregon business and Oregonians who want to experience our nation's capital."