Should Congress really start regulating air travel?

July 21 – The United States House of Representatives passed a bill to hire more air traffic controllers and modernize airport infrastructure yesterday. 

The bill looks at refunds and reimbursements for passengers, protecting passengers with disabilities, maintaining safety and increasing technology. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “There’s a lot of reporting in today’s Wall Street Journal about air travel in America. They’re also talking about Newark, New Jersey. United Airlines, they’re paring back their flight schedule there by about a third and United is saying that the infrastructure simply can’t support the volume of flights that they want to do there. They’re citing not only air traffic control issues, but just the crowding of the airports, the security problems at the airports, pilot shortages.”

Congress denied adding seven new slots at Reagan International Airport. 

Barkdoll said, “That was a bipartisan vote. The House is saying that the airport simply can’t support more flights because of the infrastructure. So the US Air transit system really has some problems and you know, Congress is doing what it can to address it, but as you’re suggesting, I’m not sure any of this is going to fix the problem.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “You can almost hear it, well, we’ve got these problems and we’re going to have to limit air travel. We’re going to have to make you just stay at home. I’m sorry, this can’t happen. So we’re going to have to pull it back. That means airline prices will spike.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “We’re already seeing the rumblings of this in Europe.”

Ryan continued, “We’ll watch it in a couple of years and say, you know, back on the 21st of July, we were talking about this mess and Congress gets involved and you’re screwed.”

Barkdoll agreed, “That’s often the way the movie plays out, doesn’t it? It seems like travel is at record high demands and you couple that with all these infrastructure problems, it’s a perfect storm.”