Representatives of airlines seeking the right to operate out of Washington's National Airport this summer will try again next month to resolve the access question.
The airlines made no progress at all toward a solution during five days of meetings here last week. The meetings ended on Friday.
Unless some of the 18 airlines change their minds before the next meeting on Feb. 18, they still will be seeking to land or take off a total of 752 times a day at National, although only 522 daily slots -- the industry term for permitted takeoffs and landings -- are available. The airlines also will discuss operatons at New York's LaGuardia Airport.
Bill Brobst, the representative from USAir, said the Washington-based airline felt that given planned schedule changes, contractual crew deadlines and publication of schedule dates, it was "impossible" to wait until mid-February to resume slot negotiations. After reviewing the airlines' requests for slots, "It is the opinion of USAir's senior management that the possibility for solution does not exist," a statement read by Brobst said.
USAir's proposal that the airlines declare the meeting deadlocked and forward the matter now to the Transportation Department, however, was rejected by the other airlines, most of whose representatives said they felt another try should be made.
The airline representatives currently meeting are members of government-sanctioned committees that have been hammering out slot agreements twice a year since 1968 for the four "congested" U.S. airports.
The new opportunities offered by airline deregulation in the last two years has increased significantly the numbers of airlines wishing to fly to and from the limited-slot airports and made the committees' work more difficult with each meeting.
At this week's series of meetings, only the airlines operating at New York's JFK International were able to agree a working schedule on for the summer season, which begins with the first day of daylight-saving time in April and ends in October when daylight saving time ends.