Changes in Presidential Powers Over the Awarding of International Air Routes: Effects and Implications of Section 801(a) of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978

Langer, Jeffrey I. | January 1, 1979

Congress amended the international air route-awarding procedures established in earlier legislation when it enacted section 801(a) of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. Changes in the procedures were necessary for two reasons. First, the original route-licensing scheme was designed by Congress to balance presidential discretion concerning defense and foreign policy with congressional authority over foreign commerce. However, by precluding judicial review of challenges by foreign air carriers, Congress thwarted its own intent and established the President as the final authority in awarding routes to such carriers. Secondly, by also precluding review of certain challenges by citizen carriers, the courts destroyed the remains of the original legislative design, and extended the President’s dominance over international route awards.