Civil Aeronautics Board v. Delta Air Lines, Inc.

PETITIONER: Civil Aeronautics Board
RESPONDENT: Delta Air Lines, Inc.
LOCATION: John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

CITATION: 367 US 316 (1961)
ARGUED: Apr 27, 1961
DECIDED: Jun 12, 1961

Facts of the case


Media for Civil Aeronautics Board v. Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 27, 1961 (Part 1) in Civil Aeronautics Board v. Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 27, 1961 (Part 2) in Civil Aeronautics Board v. Delta Air Lines, Inc.

John F . Davis:

If the Court please, when the Board granted to Delta the authority for the new through routes and the new intermediate points, the result was that Delta was given authority to inaugurate new local service between the intermediate points which were added and any other points on their exiting lines or routes or -- or connecting routes.

Thus, although the main ground was a new route from Detroit to -- to Miami, the result of the addition of these new intermediate points gave Delta a right to run local service between Chicago and Indianapolis and between Indianapolis and -- and Louisville.

And this brought it into conflict or at least potential conflict with the local services of Piedmont and Lake Central.

Now, this had been anticipated because this is -- what occurs when new routes are given.

And so, both Piedmont and Lake Central had participated -- had intervened and participated in the proceeding in order to introduce evidence as to their local traffic and -- and the effect of the grants upon it.

And when the order came down granting these routes without any restriction on local service, both Piedmont and Lake Central filed motions for reconsideration asking that the Board reconsider its order and imposed restrictions to protect their local services.

Charles E. Whittaker:


John F . Davis:

No, the rules clearly give them a right to do so, Rule 302.37 of the rules provided.

There is no statutory authority for petitions for rehearing but the Board has assumed that it had power under its general rule making power and its regulations to provide for rehearing, and this was filed in time.

Charles E. Whittaker:


John F . Davis:

There was no -- there is no issue but -- but these were timely petitions.

Now, these were not the only petitions for rehearing, this is a tremendous proceeding in the first place that were 10 air carriers that had made applications for some party to new routes and there were party cities that had -- cities or counties that had intervened and a number of the local carriers.

As a matter of fact, the record had taken 16,000 pages and there have been eight days of trial.

And after the decision came down, there were 16 separate petitions for reconsideration.

Everybody who haven't got what he wanted immediately file the petition with the Board for reconsideration and rehearing.

The initial order had provided that the certificates would become effective 60 days after the date of the order.

The petition for reconsideration came in within the first -- as of -- provided by the rules came in within the first 30 days of that 60 days, and then there were 10 days for replies.

This gave the Civil Aeronautics Board 20 days in which to act upon these petitions for stay or rehearing reconsideration.

With an insufficient time for them to pass finally on all these matters, but they did, two or three days before the effective date of the certifications, come down with an order, it appears at page 57 of the record, in which they passed upon the applications for stay because obviously, they had the pass upon the application for stay before the effective date or -- or deny them by not passing upon them.

So, on the 28th day of November, they came down with a -- brought a long opinion passing upon these motions and denying the stays as to all but one -- in one instance.

But they said specifically in this -- in this particular order, that they were -- they had examined the -- the motions for rehearing only sufficiently to determine whether or not there were sufficient error to justify staying the application of the certificates.

And they stated that it was important to get these services started in order to meet the winter season to Miami, and that therefore, they were not going to issue stays except, as I say in this one -- one particular.

But they went on and provided, and I now turn to page 79 and 80 of the record, they provided in this order that the Board would continue to consider these petitions for reconsideration and that nothing in the present order should foreclose them from full and complete considerations of pending petitions on their merits.

They particularly did not act upon the merits at that time.

There was no -- there was no objection to this type of order.

The certificates became effective.

Delta Air Lines started its service between Detroit and Miami, and it also instituted local service between Chicago and Indianapolis and local service between Indianapolis and Louisville.

And then, some five months after, the Board acted on the motions for consideration.

And it imposed restrictions on these local calls in order to protect the interest of the local carriers in its order provided that the original certificate should be amended so as to prevent -- what it considered unnecessary competition with these local carriers.

John M. Harlan II:

Were there --