3/6/2009

An FAA funding measure passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Thursday via voice vote. Of particular note are two amendments in the bill: one that would limit antitrust immunity for airline alliances, and another that would tighten restrictions of foreign repair stations. The Air Transport Association has already written to the panel's chairman, Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., saying it "strongly oppose[s]" language that sunsets existing alliances after three years, requiring reapplication by airlines "who, in good faith reliance on a valid exercise of DOT authority, have invested millions of dollars in developing and integrating alliance operations." ATA President James May said the sunset provision was "tremendously unfair" and harmful to passengers and could cost up to 15,000 airline jobs.

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