THE HOUSE AVIATION subcommittee will make another attempt this week to work out some sort of compromise on a key part of the airline deregulation bill. Last week, after seven hours of wrangling, the committee voted to drop out of the bill a section that would make it easier for airlines to enter new markets. That section is central to the whole deregulation iffort and ought to be restored in one form or another nefore the bill is sent on its way ti the House floor.
The version of this so-called market-entry provision that has been aproved by the Senate Commerce Committee would permit each airline to add to its routes, within limits, without getting approval from the Civel Aeronautics Board. An airline that thought it could make money by flying on a route it does not now serve could simply go ahead and begin service. Many airlines are deeply opposed to the provision because they believe the increased competition it would create on lucrative routes would be harmful in the long run.
The House Committee had been expected to approve a watered-down version of this entry provision. Under the compromise that had been worked out, the whole matter would have been turned over to the CAB and its ultimate decision would have been subject to a congressional veto. But opponents of deregulation bill is to have much impact. The approach taken by the Senate committee, and supported by the Carter administration, is the one that mekes the most sense. It introduces the airlines to the would of free enterprise on a gradual basis and with sufficient protection to enable them to adjust to a kind of competition from which they have been shielded in the past. That approach would be far preferable to passing the buck to the CAB as the compromise provided. But either would be better than doing nothing. The committee ought to choose between them at its next meeting.