Civic leaders and local government officials said yesterday that they favor the U.S. Transportation Department's proposal to reduce air traffic at National Airport but were split over another proposal to allow landing rights there to be bought and sold.
The comments were made at a meeting of federal officials from the transportation department and the Federal Aviation Admious area community groups. It was the last of three meetings requested by Congress to further study traffic aty officials and groups argued that Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole's proposal to lower the current paslion to 14.8 million would help reduce airplane noise and promote more traffic at Dulles International Airportused. About 13.5 million passengers used National last year.
William T. Moran, a representative of the Coalhich favors the reduced-passenger ceiling, said Tuesday's collapse of a small plane's landing gear at Nationalights 30 minutes, illustrated that the airport is too small to handle the amount of traffic there now.
"With a single (major) runway, wheens like yesterday, you have to reroute," said Moran. "For incoming planes the safety hazard is how much gas yaid that the purchase and sale of landing rights should be a decision left to the FAA, which owns National. Cuup the slots among the airlines using National.
An official from Loudoun County said, however, that landingd to reflect their economic value, a proposal that has been backed by some major airlines.
Thomas G. Morr, Dulles Task Force, a marketing group that represents 300 corporations in the Washington area, said his group also supports the proposal to reduce the passenger ceiling at National.
Morr said he would like to see better flight service at Dulles because a loteowners and businesses have moved to the area surrounding Dulles. Morr added that it is time-consuming for the "We've had a number of corporate headquarters move to the area west and north of the city. They need better Access to aviation," said Morr.