Air Transport World

Psst, wanna buy some airports? (Administration plan to get FAA out of running the Washington D.C. airports) (editorial)

Airports have once again become a big issue here in Washington, D.C. This time it is our airports, Washington National and Dulles International which are currently owned and operated by the Federal Aviation Administration, now part of our Department of Transportation. This is, of course, a local issue of interest mostly to those of us who live in and around Washington. But, it does have some interesting ramifications for those of you in other parts of the world, because it could shed some light on how we do things here.

The issue has come up once again because Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole is giving strong indications that she wants the FAA out of the airport-running business. This is not a new suggestion. It has been proposed several times that local authorities should be running Washington's airports, not the federal government.

One of the more amusing episodes occurred during the Nixon years when Jack Shaffer was the FAA administrator. …

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