LANSING – Capital Region International Airport (LAN) today announced a campaign that urges area residents to endorse American Airlines’ bid to gain federal approval to continue service between the Lansing airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
American has filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation to extend the slot exemption at DCA that allows it to operate the route from LAN. A slot exemption is the right to take off or land at an airport where operations are limited.
American was granted the DCA exemption in spring 2016 and began service between Lansing and Washington, D.C., in July 2016. The exemption is slated to expire in July 2018 – which is why community leaders are rallying support now for American’s extension request.
Supporters of the plan are encouraged to submit letters to the FAA and USDOT. They can learn more about how to make their voice heard by visitingFlyLansing.com/SupportAmerican [gudmarketing.us4.list-manage.com].
“Greater Lansing came together more than two years ago in a similar campaign to help land the important service between Michigan’s capital and the nation’s capital, and we’re asking for everyone’s support again,” said Wayne Sieloff, president and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Authority (CRAA), noting that federal regulators specifically referenced the outpouring of community support in their ruling granting American’s original slot exemption.
Billy Glunz, regional director of state and local government affairs for American Airlines, said that the flights have met with strong demand from Fly Lansing travelers.
“We’re very thankful for all of the support we’ve received throughout mid-Michigan from the start, and we look forward to working with the community to ensure continued Lansing-to-D.C. service,” he said.
Nicole Noll-Williams, the Lansing airport’s director of marketing and passenger development, noted that Washington, D.C., is mid-Michigan’s most frequent business destination for air travelers.
“American’s flight schedule provides a single-day business trip option from Lansing to Washington, D.C.,” she said. “The service is very important to the large number of fliers we have from state government, Michigan State University, statewide associations and local businesses.”
American started service between LAN and DCA on July 5, 2016. Traffic volumes between LAN and DCA have tripled since the service started, federal data show, with the average airfare paid dropping by 29 percent. Additionally, LAN’s total airport traffic has increased almost 21 percent since American entered the market, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Tim Daman, president and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Mid-Michigan Business Travel Coalition, called the business case for endorsing American’s request to extend its slot exemption “a no-brainer.”
“A big part of what makes Lansing great is being the home of a great regional airport,” he said. “We are launching a unified grassroots effort to ensure American Airlines’ presence at Capital Region International Airport. We’re asking everybody – from our area’s business and elected leaders to residents – to do their part.”
Businesses and workers in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties can contact federal authorities to support American’s plan via letters, phone calls, emails and social media by visiting FlyLansing.com/SupportAmerican [gudmarketing.us4.list-manage.com].
“A strong and vital Lansing requires a strong and vital regional airport,” said Chris Holman, CRAA chairman. “We are looking for the Greater Lansing business community to really step forward right now. By rallying together we can let the federal government know this region needs and will continue to support Washington, D.C., service.”