S. 3661 (109th): Wright Amendment Reform Act of 2006

109th Congress, 2005–2006. Text as of Sep 29, 2006 (Passed the Senate (Engrossed)).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

S 3661 ES

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3661

AN ACT

To amend section 29 of the International Air Transportation Competition Act of 1979 relating to air transportation to and from Love Field, Texas.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Wright Amendment Reform Act of 2006'.

SEC. 2. MODIFICATION OF PROVISIONS REGARDING FLIGHTS TO AND FROM LOVE FIELD, TEXAS.

    (a) Expanded Service- Section 29(c) of the International Air Transportation Competition Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-192; 94 Stat. 35) is amended by striking `carrier, if (1)' and all that follows and inserting the following: `carrier. Air carriers and, with regard to foreign air transportation, foreign air carriers, may offer for sale and provide through service and ticketing to or from Love Field, Texas, and any United States or foreign destination through any point within Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, or Alabama.'.

    (b) Repeal- Section 29 of the International Air Transportation Competition Act of 1979 (94 Stat. 35), as amended by subsection (a), is repealed on the date that is 8 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 3. TREATMENT OF INTERNATIONAL NONSTOP FLIGHTS TO AND FROM LOVE FIELD, TEXAS.

    No person shall provide, or offer to provide, air transportation of passengers for compensation or hire between Love Field, Texas, and any point or points outside the 50 States or the District of Columbia on a nonstop basis, and no official or employee of the Federal Government may take any action to make or designate Love Field as an initial point of entry into the United States or a last point of departure from the United States.

SEC. 4. CHARTER FLIGHTS AT LOVE FIELD, TEXAS.

    (a) In General- Charter flights (as defined in section 212.2 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations) at Love Field, Texas, shall be limited to--

      (1) destinations within the 50 States and the District of Columbia; and

      (2) no more than 10 per month per air carrier for charter flights beyond the States of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Alabama.

    (b) Carriers Who Lease Gates- All flights operated to or from Love Field by air carriers that lease terminal gate space at Love Field shall depart from and arrive at one of those leased gates; except for--

      (1) flights operated by an agency of the Federal Government or by an air carrier under contract with an agency of the Federal Government; and

      (2) irregular operations.

    (c) Carriers Who Do Not Lease Gates- Charter flights from Love Field, Texas, operated by air carriers that do not lease terminal space at Love Field may operate from nonterminal facilities or one of the terminal gates at Love Field.

SEC. 5. LOVE FIELD GATES.

    (a) In General- The city of Dallas, Texas, shall reduce as soon as practicable, the number of gates available for passenger air service at Love Field to no more than 20 gates. Thereafter, the number of gates available for such service shall not exceed a maximum of 20 gates. The city of Dallas, pursuant to its authority to operate and regulate the airport as granted under chapter 22 of the Texas Transportation Code and this Act, shall determine the allocation of leased gates and manage Love Field in accordance with contractual rights and obligations existing as of the effective date of this Act for certificated air carriers providing scheduled passenger service at Love Field on July 11, 2006. To accommodate new entrant air carriers, the city of Dallas shall honor the scarce resource provision of the existing Love Field leases.

    (b) Removal of Gates at Love Field- No Federal funds or passenger facility charges may be used to remove gates at the Lemmon Avenue facility, Love Field, in reducing the number of gates as required under this Act, but Federal funds or passenger facility charges may be used for other airport facilities under chapter 471 of title 49, United States Code.

    (c) General Aviation- Nothing in this Act shall affect general aviation service at Love Field, including flights to or from Love Field by general aviation aircraft for air taxi service, private or sport flying, aerial photography, crop dusting, corporate aviation, medical evacuation, flight training, police or fire fighting, and similar general aviation purposes, or by aircraft operated by any agency of the Federal Government or by any air carrier under contract to any agency of the Federal Government.

    (d) Enforcement-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Transportation and the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not make findings or determinations, issue orders or rules, withhold airport improvement grants or approvals thereof, deny passenger facility charge applications, or take any other actions, either self-initiated or on behalf of third parties--

        (A) that are inconsistent with the contract dated July 11, 2006, entered into by the city of Dallas, the city of Fort Worth, the DFW International Airport Board, and others regarding the resolution of the Wright Amendment issues, unless actions by the parties to the contract are not reasonably necessary to implement such contract; or

        (B) that challenge the legality of any provision of such contract.

      (2) COMPLIANCE WITH TITLE 49 REQUIREMENTS- A contract described in paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection, and any actions taken by the parties to such contract that are reasonably necessary to implement its provisions, shall be deemed to comply in all respects with the parties' obligations under title 49, United States Code.

    (e) Limitation on Statutory Construction-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Nothing in this Act shall be construed--

        (A) to limit the obligations of the parties under the programs of the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration relating to aviation safety, labor, environmental, national historic preservation, civil rights, small business concerns (including disadvantaged business enterprise), veteran's preference, disability access, and revenue diversion;

        (B) to limit the authority of the Department of Transportation or the Federal Aviation Administration to enforce the obligations of the parties under the programs described in subparagraph (A);

        (C) to limit the obligations of the parties under the security programs of the Department of Homeland Security, including the Transportation Security Administration, at Love Field, Texas;

        (D) to authorize the parties to offer marketing incentives that are in violation of Federal law, rules, orders, agreements, and other requirements; or

        (E) to limit the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration or any other Federal agency to enforce requirements of law and grant assurances (including subsections (a)(1), (a)(4), and (s) of section 47107 of title 49, United States Code) that impose obligations on Love Field to make its facilities available on a reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis to air carriers seeking to use such facilities, or to withhold grants or deny applications to applicants violating such obligations with respect to Love Field.

      (2) FACILITIES- Paragraph (1)(E)--

        (A) shall only apply with respect to facilities that remain at Love Field after the city of Dallas has reduced the number of gates at Love Field as required by subsection (a); and

        (B) shall not be construed to require the city of Dallas, Texas--

          (i) to construct additional gates beyond the 20 gates referred to in subsection (a); or

          (ii) to modify or eliminate preferential gate leases with air carriers in order to allocate gate capacity to new entrants or to create common use gates, unless such modification or elimination is implemented on a nationwide basis.

SEC. 6. APPLICABILITY.

    The provisions of this Act shall apply to actions taken with respect to Love Field, Texas, or air transportation to or from Love Field, Texas, and shall have no application to any other airport (other than an airport owned or operated by the city of Dallas or the city of Fort Worth, or both).

SEC. 7. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    Sections 1 through 6, including the amendments made by such sections, shall take effect on the date that the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration notifies Congress that aviation operations in the airspace serving Love Field and the Dallas-Fort Worth area which are likely to be conducted after enactment of this Act can be accommodated in full compliance with Federal Aviation Administration safety standards in accordance with section 40101 of title 49, United States Code, and, based on current expectations, without adverse effect on use of airspace in such area.

Passed the Senate September 29, 2006.

Attest:

Secretary.

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3661

AN ACT

To amend section 29 of the International Air Transportation Competition Act of 1979 relating to air transportation to and from Love Field, Texas.