Congressman Crowley Hails Department of Transportation’s Announcement on Delta, US Airways Agreement

July 21, 2011
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) praised the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) decision to grant tentative approval of the slot exchange agreement between Delta Airlines and US Airways. This agreement paves the way for Delta to move forward with its $117 million planned investment to build a new terminal at LaGuardia Airport, generating thousands of new jobs in Queens and increasing economic activity in and around the airport.

“Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to bringing thousands of new jobs to Queens and boosting economic activity around LaGuardia Airport,” said Congressman Crowley. “With our economy on the mend, Delta’s plan to invest in Queens is exactly the kind of private sector initiative we need to keep our community moving forward. I am pleased that the Department of Transportation issued tentative approval of the agreement and I urge the Department of Justice to do the same.”

In May, Delta Airlines and US Airways reached an agreement to transfer takeoff and landing slots between LaGuardia and Washington Reagan National Airports. Under the agreement, Delta would operate an additional 116-132 slots at LaGuardia Airport, and would give up some of its slots at Washington Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. Subsequently, Delta would begin a multimillion dollar construction program at LaGuardia to connect the existing Delta and US Airways terminals. An estimated 6,000 new jobs would be created as a result of this agreement, including construction, airport operational and tourism-related jobs. Additionally, Delta would phase out use of older, loud turbo-prop planes for quieter jets – resulting in less air noise polluting the communities around the airport.

Since 2009, Crowley has led efforts in support of a deal, including spearheading a bipartisan letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that encouraged the department to quickly approve the transfer of slots.
The Delta-US Airways agreement is also being reviewed by the Department of Justice.

Congressman Crowley is the seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as a Chief Deputy Whip in the House of Representatives.