|For Immediate Release||
Contact: Stephanie Booker
|July 24, 2012||
USDOT Grants Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport a Permanent Nonstop Flight to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Today, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) announced that the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has granted US Airways the permanent authority to operate nonstop service from Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood called Congressman Thompson today to personally follow-up on a request made by Congressman Thompson and Jackson Municipal Airport Authority officials to grant US Airways permanent authority.
“I am pleased that Secretary LaHood and the USDOT officials see the great benefit of granting a permanent non-stop flight from Jackson to the Nation’s Capital,” Thompson said. “This flight will continue to benefit civic leaders, the business community, advocacy groups, schools, and tourist throughout Central Mississippi. I commend the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, US Airways, and our local business community for their collective work to make this flight permanent.”
In 2004, the USDOT awarded Delta the flight “slots” at DCA to exclusively fly the DCA-JAN route. Under the terms of agreement with the USDOT, Delta could not sell or otherwise dispose of these slots. If Delta were to cease the DCA-JAN service, the slots would be returned to the USDOT which would initiate a carrier selection process to redistribute the slots to a new carrier and/or destination.
In December of 2011, Delta Airlines announced that it would terminate its direct service from Jackson, Mississippi to Washington, D.C. Shortly after Delta’s announcement, US Airways petitioned USDOT to begin servicing the Jackson to Washington route beginning on March 4, 2012 on an interim basis. On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, Congressman Thompson and officials from the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority met with Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to discuss the DCA-JAN route and its importance to Mississippi and Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers. During that meeting, Secretary LaHood made a commitment to grant US Airways temporary authority to operate the DCA-JAN flight.