Congressmen, city leaders celebrate next step for direct flights from San Antonio to Washington, D.C.

Press conference took place Friday afternoon at San Antonio international Airport

SAN ANTONIO – It’s rare in an election year for Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders to unite on a cause and hold a joint press conference where they praise one another’s efforts, but that’s what happened Friday at the San Antonio International Airport.

Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Chip Roy and Rep. Joaquin Castro joined Mayor Ron Nirenberg and other city leaders to celebrate the “next step” in fulfilling a long-term goal for a direct flight between San Antonio and Reagan National Airport.

“In less than 60 days from today, San Antonio is going to have a direct flight to and from Reagan National Airport,” Cruz announced.

Cruz was one of the lead authors of the $100 Billion aviation bill designed to improve air travel safety. The bill also included a provision to add five long-haul flights a day to and from Reagan National Airport. Cruz called it the most contentious issue with DC lawmakers trying to kill the provision. DCA is the only airport in the country that has a strict regulation and cap on the number of flights in and out as well as a perimeter rule that has prevented San Antonio from having a direct flight.

Cruz said it took a “massive lobbying battle” to get the provision added to the bill and called the passage a “tremendous victory for Texas and a tremendous victory for the city of San Antonio.”

Nirenberg said San Antonio has been pushing for more than a decade to have the same access to the nation’s capital as nearly every major city in the country.

He cited San Antonio’s military prominence and new census data showing San Antonio as the fastest-growing city in the United States as the main reasons why direct flights are so important.

“Ours is the seventh largest city in the country. We’re known as Military City USA and yet our service members don’t have a nonstop flight to the National airport, right by the Pentagon, directly into the nation’s capital and this will change that,” Castro said.

American Airlines has committed to partner with the city to pursue the flight from SAT to DCA and will submit an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation to initiate the service. The awarding of those five flight slots will be made within 60 days.

About the Authors

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

Recommended Videos