Coalition Letter on DCA Perimeter Rule

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Dear Chairwoman Cantwell and Ranking Member Cruz:

We write to inform you that we support expanding the number of flights permitted in and out of Reagan Airport (DCA). To do so requires modernizing the outdated federal perimeter rule that unfairly restricts flights – especially from western cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, San Antonio, and Salt Lake City. This will be a large economic benefit to Northern Virginia and Washington D.C., estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. 

It would benefit those who live and work in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, given the proximity of Reagan Airport to the Capital and the business district of downtown Washington. The new $1 billion renovation and modernization of DCA means more gates and enables more flights – mostly during the nonpeak flying hours. 

Opponents of the additional flights argue that this would mean more competition for Washington Dulles Airport. This is why some airlines, such as United Airlines – which uses Dulles as a major hub – are lobbying to stop the flight expansions from Reagan. 

Since when is more competition a bad thing? Airline prices have been one of the fastest growing items of late in the Consumer Price Index – partly because of government airport controls. Adding more fights to Reagan will lower prices for flyers. 

The 1966 Perimeter Rule may have made sense a half-century ago, but today the law makes little sense given that planes are much quieter and less intrusive at take-off and landing than in the early years of commercial flights. In addition, Northern Virginia’s population, and particularly Loudoun County, where Dulles is located, has grown markedly over the last 20 years so Dulles is more than capable of standing on its own without this federal protectionist measure. 

Stephen Moore, Co-Founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity
David Malpass, Former President of the World Bank
Morton Blackwell, Founder of the Leadership Institute
Steve Forbes, Publisher and Editor of Forbes Magazine
Arthur Laffer, Chairman of Laffer Associates
Steve Hanke, Economist, Johns Hopkins University
Cesar Conda, Economic Advisory Board, Committee to Unleash Prosperity
Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment
Tomas Phillipson, Former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors
Andy Puzder, Former CEO of CKE Restaurants
Judy Shelton, Independent Institute
Jim Martin, 60+ Association
Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House
George Landrith, President of Frontiers of Freedom
Iain Murray, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Bill Walton, Council for National Policy
Saul Anuzis, President of the 60+ Association
EJ Antoni, Economist, Heritage Foundation
Dan Mitchell, President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity
JD Foster, Former Chief Economist Chamber of Commerce
Alfredo Ortiz, President, Job Creators Network
Lisa Nelson, President, ALEC
Bob McEwen, President of the Council for National Policy
David Bahnsen, CIO, Bahnsen Group
Jim Miller, former Reagan OMB Director
Todd Tiahart, Former Member of Congress
Jessie Jane Duff, Gold Institute for International Strategy
Henry Butler, Dean of George Mason University Law School
Gordon Jones, Founder, Mount Liberty College
(Affiliations are for identification purposes only)