Air Transport World

The elusive slot-rule change. (Department of Transportation approves use of commuter slots for larger jets)

You would think that American Airlines would be beaming over DOT's recent decision permitting it to use larger jets in 25% of its commuter slots at Chicago O'Hare Airport. But the ruling is a mixed blessing, says the carrier.

American is gratified that DOT finally acted on its year-old request to use Fokker 100s from Chicago to several regional markets that now are served by turboprop aircraft. But the bureaucratic morass the carrier must slog through in order to start jet service to these communities has left some at American saying the cure could be worse than the disease.

"They have built so many layers of bureaucracy into the rule that we don't know how long it will take for us to begin operations," said American's associate general counsel, Ed Faberman. …

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