Executives at Southwest Airlines probably have the date circuled on their calendar.  In one year, the restrictions of the Wright Amendment are gone and the airline will be able to offer nonstop flights from Love Field to any U.S. destination. 

The ban dates back 34 years.

Travel consultant Bob Harrell says the law was aimed at driving air passenger traffic to the brand-new Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in 1979. 

“In those days,” Harrell explains, “Love Field was the close-in, city airport, and DFW was in the boondocks.”

The ban was aimed at driving traffic to the new airport.

“If you wanted to serve California or New York or Chicago,” he says, “those flights had to be out of DFW.”

Direct flights out of Love Field have been limited to nine states, including airports like Houston-Hobby.  A deal was cut eight years ago to establish an ending date for the amendment.