Press Release

June 14, 2023
ICYMI: In a Washington Post Op-ed, Cardin, Van Hollen, Kaine and Warner Oppose Changes to Slot and Perimeter Rules at DCA

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin, Chris Van Hollen (both D-MD), Tim Kaine and Mark R. Warner (both D-Va.), wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post urging their colleagues to oppose changes to the current slot and perimeter rules at Reagan National Airport (DCA), which govern the number of flights that can safely operate out of DCA and the distance of those flights. There are efforts to change these rules in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, which is being voted on in the Senate Commerce Committee tomorrow. Changes to the current rules would result in delays and longer lines at DCA, create more noise for residents living near DCA, and hinder economic development along the I-66 corridor.

The senators wrote, “The three airports of the Washington metropolitan area have worked in tandem for decades to connect the nation’s capital to destinations around the world while serving as centerpieces of the regional economy. Unfortunately, some in Congress are attempting to destabilize this tried-and-true equilibrium with unwelcome changes in the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, which will be voted on in the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday. We strongly oppose these efforts and intend to fight this push in the Senate with everything we’ve got.”

They continued, “Messing with this delicate balance is a bad idea. It would cause longer lines and more delays at DCA, more noise for nearby residents — and economic losses along the Dulles corridor in Northern Virginia as well as in the BWI business district.”

They concluded, “The system that promotes prosperity for all three of the Washington area’s airports is not random — it is a carefully crafted effort to make the nation’s capital accessible to as broad a population as possible. Destabilizing that system would benefit a small subset of people while negatively affecting surrounding communities. The case against doing so is clear. For the sake of our constituents, and our economy, we’re not going to give up in this fight.”

The full piece is available here.