Nullification of Wright Amendment to impact El Paso

Nullification of Wright Amendment to impact El Paso

EL PASO, Texas - Back in 1979 a piece of legislation called the Wright amendment was put into place by a Fort Worth congressman named Jim Wright. 

The Wright amendment's focus was to protect DFW Airport when Dallas' love field came into play in the late 70s.

It restricted flights from leaving Texas without stopping somewhere and taking off from that area. Because of El Paso's location, many Southwest flights were forced to stop here and benefited those departing from El Paso.

In 2006, President George W. Bush signed a bill that fully repealed the Wright Amendment. However, the conditions stipulated that the restrictions wouldn't end until 2014.

The El Paso International Airport reports that in the end, El Paso will only lose 6 flights in the situation.

"It'll help if you don't live in El Paso. We use Southwest quite often, so it's going to be a situation in decline." said Ryan Johnson, a frequent Southwest traveler.

Additionally, El Paso passengers will now have access to more long-haul destinations such as New York, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Orlando via one-stop connections through Dallas Love Field.

Usually flights headed west would stop in El Paso then head to their destination like Vegas, LA, or Phoenix.

Another traveler, Sandra Poynor, said, "I'd actually prefer if they stopped in El Paso, that would really help me out. Going to Dallas is another stop."

Whitney Eichinger with Southwest Airlines' Public Relations Department told ABC-7, "We do have schedule changes for El Paso, but you will still have a strong Southwest presence... We are always adding flights where we see demand."

Southwest also recently added and is in the process of adding more international flights some of which originating from El Paso. 

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