Two pairs of takeoff-and-landing spots at Reagan National Airport are the subject of fierce competition among five airlines hoping to serve the airport. Republic Airways, which purchased another airline in July 2009, currently has control of the slots. The government is allowing for the slots to be rebid. The slots are designated for a small, low-fare carrier. "There's a limited number at National, so they're in demand," said George Hamlin, a Virginia-based commercial airline industry analyst who has advised airlines on slot applications. "And it's not a simple bidding process -- it's very subjective."

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