View Full Version : More Competition In The US.

23rd Jul 2001, 21:24
I was talking to an old buddy of mine who works in the political jungle that is Washington DC today. With the defection of Senator Jim Jeffords from the Republicans, all the committee leaderships have, of course, changed hands.
John McCain has lost the all powerful Senate Commerce Committee which has now fallen back in to the hands of the North Carolina Democratic Senator, Ernest "Fritz" Hollings. Some of you may know Hollings, (born 1922), as an activist who has time and time again, openely questioned his decision to vote for airline deregulation back in '78.

But now old Fritz has a plan. The Airline Competition Restoration bill. This would give the DoT power to force carriers to make gates at hub airports available to competitiors on fair and rreasonable terms. Noone knows yet what this fully means and I can't see the likes of Delta being especially happy if they have to give up gates at Atlanta! But this could be an interesting shake-up if the bill goes through.

And don't forget Fritz holds huge power in the house, he if third in seniority on the Senate Appropriations Committee and it's the appropriators who decide how much funding the various agencies get.

The question is would it work? Who would benefit? Would it enable new start ups to survive predatory tactics by the majors? And would it stop the consolidation of the major airlines in the US into just a few massive carriers?