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U.S. Department of Transportation Finalizes Procedures to Increase Access at Newark for Lower Cost Carriers

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The U.S. Department of Transportation on Feb. 25 issued a notice finalizing its procedures to reassign 16 peak afternoon and evening runway times previously operated by Southwest Airlines at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). The department is requesting applications from U.S. low-cost carriers or ultra-low-cost carriers to help address competition issues at the airport.

“This decision to open up access at Newark means lower fares and more choices for the traveling public,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to promoting competition, lowering costs for Americans and protecting consumer choice, which is exactly what this step will help do.”

Based on comments received in response to its September 20, 2021 notice proposing the reassignment, the department will consider applications seeking less than the full slate of 16 timings if no airline submits an application for all 16 that adequately addresses the selection criteria.

This notice and the action the department is taking are in response to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Spirit Airlines v. DOT, et al., and fulfills President Biden’s Executive Order to promote competition in the American economy and at major gateway airports.

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