Republic Airline Inc. v. U.S. Dept. of Transportation, No. 11-1018 (D.C. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Republic challenged an order of the DOT withdrawing two Republic "slot exemptions" at Reagan National and reallocating those exemptions to Sun Country. "Slots" were take-off and landing rights. In both an informal letter to Republic and a final order, DOT held that Republic's parent company engaged in an impermissible slot-exemption transfer with Midwest. In so holding, DOT summarily dismissed Republic's argument that, under DOT and Federal Aviation Administration precedent, the Republic-Midwest slot-exemption transfer was permissible because it was ancillary to Republic Holdings' acquisition of Midwest. The court held that because DOT had departed from its precedent without adequate explanation, its decision could not survive arbitrary and capricious review. Accordingly, the court granted Republic's petition for review and vacated DOT's order.