The U.S. Government Accountability Office last week found that the Federal Aviation Administration did not have the legal authority to auction flight slots. The GAO’s decision handed a victory to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which had threatened to prevent flights from landing if they used auctioned slots.

The U.S. Department of Transportation claimed that the slots were property that it had the right to auction, but the GAO disagreed and said the auctions would constitute a new user fee that the DOT did not have the authority to impose. The FAA had planned to auction flight slots at Newark Liberty Airport last month, but was blocked when an ombudsman-type agency within the FAA agreed to review the matter. 

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.