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Technology: Free Market Flying

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised the airlines have been fighting tooth and nail over proposals to charge them higher runway fees during rush hours. The idea, called “congestion pricing,” is to apply free market incentives that would lead carriers to spread flights throughout the day.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised the airlines have been fighting tooth and nail over proposals to charge them higher runway fees during rush hours. The idea, called “congestion pricing,” is to apply free market incentives that would lead carriers to spread flights throughout the day.

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Congestion pricing is one of the solutions that a presidential task force came up with in September. Airline industry officials were quick to shoot it down, and the Aviation Rulemaking Committee considering the idea dropped it in December, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Another free market solution proposed by the committee is to cap the number of flights per hour and auction off slots for arrivals and departures. The upshot would be to make takeoffs and landings more reliable, although passengers would have to pick up the tab for higher fees for flying during peak periods.

What’s your opinion of the concept of using the free market to solve our air travel congestion problems?

Airline Futurist • Miami • www.amadeus.com

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