FAA Considers Incentive Plan Proposed by Las Vegas

As a result of a request by Las Vegas McCarran International Airportto create an air service development incentive program designed to encourage airlines to use larger planes, the FAA on Friday decided to seek comments on the concept before acting on the airport’s petition.

ACI-NA will file comments supporting the airport’s proposal by seeking a broad interpretation of the FAA Air Carrier Incentive Program Guidebook. Comments are due by May 31.

In its petition, McCarran is seeking to use a weight-based air service incentive program, which would allow the airport to reward air carriers for an increase in landed weight, an increase in the size of aircraft use, “upgauging” on existing flights, or by adding flights on an existing route served by a carrier.

Since the airport participates in the Airport Improvement Program, its incentive programs are subject to review by the FAA.

The Guidebook, issued last fall by the agency’s Office of Airport Compliance, defines new air service as either service to a new destination, an upgrade to non-stop service, a new carrier to the market or an increase in the number of flights to a current destination.  To date, the FAA’s interpretation of new service has not permitted the type of incentive program that Las Vegas is seeking.