The Wright Amendment is an amendment to the International Air Transportation Act of 1979, sponsored by then Fort Worth congressman Jim Wright, which restricts commerical air traffic from Dallas Love Field. Oprations from Love Field with aircraft seating more than 56 passengers are restricted to destinations in Texas and the four neighboring states (Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico).
The Wright restrictions were amended in 1997 via a law authored by Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama to allow service to Alabama, Kansas, and Mississippi. In 2005 the restrictions were relaxed further when Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri introduced an amendment to a transportation spending bill which allowed service to Missouri. At present the only service from Love Field to these four additional states is to Birmingham, Alabama and to St. Louis, Missouri.
Repeal of the Wright Amendment was signed into law on 13 October 2006, with an effective date eight years from that date—four years from today.
At present, the only service on large jets from Love Field is by Southwest Airlines. In additional, regional aircraft flying from Love Field serve Houston Intercontinental Airport (Continental Express) and Memphis (Delta Connection). While Memphis is not in a Wright state, aircraft with 56 or fewer seats are used thus avoiding the limit.
In addition to these current services, Legend Airlines was created with the intention of using DC-9 aircraft equipped with 56 seats to provide service from Love Field to Washington (Dulles), Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and later New York. The airline began operations in spring 2000 and American Airlines quickly responded by reconfiguring Fokker F100 aircraft with 56 seats in order to compete with Legend. Legend suspended flight operations on 3 December 2000 and American ceased operations from Love Field soon thereafter.
After passage of the Bond Amendment, Southwest began service to St. Louis and Kansas City in the newly-allowed state of Missouri. American returned to Love Field in March 2006 with competing service to these two cities plus Austin and San Antonio. American retrenched to just Austin and Kansas City, using regional jets operated by American Eagle, then eliminated those flights in 2008 in favor of American Eagle flights to Chicago O'Hare, then pulled out entirely.
Today's featured map shows the current airline service from Love Field, plus major airports in Mississippi and Kansas, states allows under the Shelby Amendment but which are not currently served from Love Field.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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