A group of 130 San Antonio business leaders will spend much of this week in Washington D.C., lobbying elected officials on policies important to the area’s military, healthcare, tourism and Alamo City industries.
Mayor Ivy Taylor says her top priority is convincing Congress to lift exemptions that prohibit non-stop flights from San Antonio International to Ronald Reagan Washington National, the airport closest to Capitol Hill.
San Antonio calls itself Military U.S.A. It has one of the nation’s largest active and retired military populations. It’s home to the Department of Defense’s largest medical center, and has the largest number of cybersecurity jobs outside Washington, D.C.
Mayor Taylor will argue the non-stop is important to San Antonio’s economy and national security.
“Of course the military is a huge contributor to our local economy, and we’ve got officers, soldiers and military contractors who are traveling back and forth from San Antonio to Washington very frequently. And we want them to make the best use of their time and not have to be delayed as a result of connecting flights,” the Mayor said.
Congress has restricted the number of take-offs and landings at Reagan since the 1960's. It also requires airports more than 1,250 miles from the airport to receive a special exemption to connect with a non-stop. The regulations were put in place decades ago to reduce congestion and noise levels near Regan, and to support the development of nearby Dulles International Airport which had recently opened.
The City of San Antonio estimates 178 military personnel and civilians fly to Reagan every day, making it San Antonio’s most visited destination without a direct flight. The Mayor will argue a non-stop is essential for national security, as well as San Antonio’s economy.