The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last Monday won another round in an ongoing fight to stop the Bush administration from auctioning flight slots at its airports when the U.S. Court of Appeals granted it a stay.

The Federal Aviation Administration had scheduled auctions for Jan. 12 for flight slots at three airports owned and operated by the authority: LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport. The slots would have 10 year leases.

“The Port Authority applauds today’s decision halting the Bush administration’s 11th-hour plan to auction existing landing and takeoff slots at the New York metropolitan airports to the highest bidder, which would invariably drive up ticket prices for passengers for the same service without alleviating delays,” the agency said. “We look forward to working with the next administration to develop real, long-term solutions to improve air travel.”

The authority has argued that the FAA does not have the right to sell the slots and threatened to prevent flights from landing at the airports that used auctioned slots. The FAA has argued that airports would benefit from competition.

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