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The Nation

December 17, 1985

The Transportation Department cleared the way for airlines to buy, sell or trade valuable landing and takeoff slots at four of the nation's busiest airports, rejecting criticism that the approach benefits wealthy carriers at the expense of weaker ones. The final rule, which goes into effect next April, ends months of debate over how to deal with mounting congestion problems and an inability by the airlines to distribute landing and takeoff authority among themselves at the four airports in Chicago, Washington and New York. The government has ceilings on the number of planes that may land and depart daily at each of the airports, making it difficult for new entrant airlines to compete.

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