On Tuesday, Senators John McCain and John Ensign introduced the Abolishing Aviation Barriers Act, which would lift the 1,250-mile flight perimeter rule at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and would end federal support for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s 1,500-mile perimeter rule at LaGuardia Airport. This is an old hobbyhorse of McCain’s, as it stands to benefit his Arizona constitutents.
I’ve written previously about McCain’s efforts to undermine and abolish the perimeter rules — and about the other ways in which Congress likes to meddle in Reagan National Airport’s operations. Congress should support the McCain-Ensign bill. The perimeter rule has outlived its usefulness now that Dulles Airport has come into its own, and a pricing mechanism would be a better way of rationing scarce terminal and runway space at Reagan National.