July 19, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Joins Coalition to Increase Direct Travel to D.C.
Through New Bill

Capital Access Alliance calls for expanded direct flight access to Washington, D.C. region

The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce has announced that they have joined the Capital Access Alliance (CAA), a broad coalition of companies and organizations calling for an increase in the number of direct flights into and out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) when Congress takes up the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill this fall.

“The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce is proud to join our CAA partners in calling for more affordable and equitable access to our nation’s capital,” said Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Judy Kruger. “Communities like Santa Monica contribute to California having the 4th biggest economy in the world and increasing direct flights to D.C. will benefit all businesses in Santa Monica – both large and small – by giving travelers direct access to policymakers.”

The Capital Access Alliance is pushing Congress to pass the DCA Act. To date, 10 California groups have joined the CAA. They are the: Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco, Coalition of California Chambers Orange County, the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce, Latin Business Association, Latino Restaurant Association, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California, the National Diversity Coalition and Baptists Ministers Conference of Los Angeles. 

The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce joined the CAA on May 10, the same day Congressmen Hank Johnson (GA-04) and Burgess Owens (UT-04) introduced The Direct Capital Access Act (DCA Act) that seeks to add 28 in- and beyond-perimeter daily flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in the 2023 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill. An increase in the number of direct flights to and from DCA would help increase consumer options, lower ticket prices, spur economic growth and generate more business opportunities for the Westside business community.

Congress restricted air traffic at DCA in the 1960s — in part to encourage airlines to grow their long-distance flight options from the then-newly built Washington Dulles airport that had just been built in then-rural Virginia — by creating perimeter rule limits.

With few exceptions, the perimeter rule limits the distance that incoming and outgoing flights can travel at DCA to no more than 1,250 miles. As it stands, the perimeter rule is making travel to Washington, D.C more expensive and less convenient for consumers, businesses, and communities.

DCA remains the only airport in the country that is still bound by this outdated federal regulation. If the DCA Act is approved, it would be up to each carrier to decide how they would want to use their four new slots. The proposed bill does not benefit one single airline but is purposefully written to treat all carriers equally, ensuring maximum benefit to the consumer.

“By limiting the number of flights in and out of National Airport, we are squeezing consumers – they are the ones paying the price,” said Rep. Johnson, a senior member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “Travelers who want to visit the capital region face the most expensive domestic ticket prices compared to other major markets because of limited competition. The DCA Act will help alleviate that pressure on consumers and the flying public.”

CAA consists of diverse members from around the country and various industries, including transportation, general business groups, the small business sector, entrepreneurs and job creators, organizations focused on economic development and leaders in the civic and policy communities.

To read the bill, click HERE.

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