Long Awaited SA to DC Reagan Flight Clears Hurdle

San Antonio may be one step closer to that long awaited non-stop flight between SAT and Reagan National Airport in Washington DC, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

U.S. Rep Henry Cuellar (D-Lardeo) tells News Radio 1200 WOAI that a measure to allow a vote on an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization bill that would allow the flight was approved by the House Rules Committee Tuesday night.

"We have one of the largest military medical centers that doesn't have a direct flight to Walter Reed or to the Pentagon," Cuellar said of the need for a direct flight.

He and local leaders also point out the huge military and cyber security presence in San Antonio, which requires direct contact with the Pentagon and lawmakers in Washington DC.

"The seventh largest city in the country, one of the fastest growing ones, should have a direct flight to Reagan," Cuellar said. "We're going to give it a try."

While Southwest Airlines has recognized the profitability of a San Antonio to Washington Reagan non-stop, and says it would be willing to  offer the service, it's not that easy.

Since Reagan National is controlled by Congress, typically confusing regulations govern which airlines can fly and out of the airport, which is far more convenient to the Capitol and the Pentagon than Washington Dulles, which is located in suburban Virginia.

Congressional approval is needed for any flight, and rules limit lights in and out of a certain distance from Reagan National.

Cuellar says east coast lawmakers may scuttle any deal, because they want to limit the number of flights in and out of Reagan, largely due to concerns over noise and overcrowding of the airspace around the airport.

IMAGE: SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

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