© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Peters advocates for nonstop flights between Lansing and Washington, D.C.

Outside of the terminals at the Capital Region International Airport
Michelle Jokisch Polo
Outside of the terminals at the Capital Region International Airport

Michigan's congressional representatives want to keep a direct flight from Lansing to Washington, D.C. open for those travelling between the two capitals.

Since 2016, American Airlines has been able to operate the direct flight through a slot exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration. A slot authorizes an airline to use a busy airport's runway for takeoffs and landings.

The FAA gives out a limited number of slots and airlines are allowed to request exceptions to operate a flight if they don’t have a slot.

The slot exception American Airlines received to fly from the Capital Region International Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport was slated to expire in October, but a last-minute extension was granted to keep the exemption until Oct. 2028.

The decision came after over 800 mid-Michigan travelers, dozens of governmental officials and business leaders contacted to the FAA and U.S. Department of Transportation urging approval of the American Airlines petition after it was filed in February, according to a press release from the Capital Region International Airport.

At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday, Sen. Gary Peters said he wants to ensure that the flight’s exemption is not jeopardized again.

“The long wait for the renewal upended airline schedules and certainly created uncertainty for passengers Michigan, in District of Columbia and in Virginia as to whether or not this service is even going to continue,” he said.

Every day, the Lansing airport operates four flights to D.C., totaling an average of 120 flights per month.

“This regular direct flight is absolutely essential to connecting our two capitals for both economic development as well as government to government relationships between state and federal government,” Peters said at the hearing.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!