Congressman Crowley Welcomes Final DOT Approval of Delta-LaGuardia Airport Deal

Oct 11, 2011 Issues: Economy and Jobs, In the Community

Approved Deal Paves Way for Delta’s $117 Million Investment in LaGuardia Airport

(Queens, N.Y.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) welcomed news from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that it has provided final approval of the slot exchange agreement between Delta Airlines and US Airways, paving the way for Delta to move forward with its $117 million planned investment to build a new terminal at LaGuardia Airport.

“This deal will bring many benefits to Queens and New York, including the creation of thousands of new jobs, increased economic activity in and around LaGuardia, improved air service and reduced noise pollution,” said Rep. Crowley, who has led efforts in support of this deal since 2009. “Creating jobs and putting New Yorkers back to work is my highest priority and I am pleased that we are now one big step closer to turning this deal into a reality. I thank Secretary LaHood for recognizing the significance of this agreement to the Queens community and I urge the Department of Justice to swiftly approve this deal.”

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, working with both DOT and the Department of Justice (DOJ). In July, DOT granted tentative approval of the slot exchange agreement between Delta Airlines and US Airways. Once DOJ provides final approval, Delta and US Airways can begin work on implementing the terms of the slot exchange. Crowley recently spoke with Attorney General Holder and urged DOJ to approve the deal as soon as possible.

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.