CAB V. DELTA AIR LINES, INC., 367 U. S. 316 (1961)

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U.S. Supreme Court

CAB v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 367 U.S. 316 (1961)

Civil Aeronautics Board v. Delta Air Lines, Inc.

No. 492

Argued April 27, 1961

Decided June 12, 1961*

367 U.S. 316


Once a certificate of public convenience and necessity granted by the Civil Aeronautics Board to an air line has become effective under §401(f) of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, the Board may not alter it without the formal notice and hearing required by § 401 (g) -- even though the Board, at the time of certification, has purported to reserve jurisdiction to make summary modifications pursuant to petitions for reconsideration and such petitions have been filed within the time prescribed by the Board's regulations and before the effective date of the certificate. Pp. 367 U. S. 317-334.

(a) Congress intended that certificated air lines should enjoy "security of route," so that they might invest the considerable sums required to support their operations, and it provided in § 401(g) certain minimum protections before a certificated operation could be cancelled. Pp. 367 U. S. 321-325.

(b) Notwithstanding the general principle that an administrative order is not "final" for the purposes of judicial review until outstanding petitions for reconsideration have been disposed of, the Board may not, by reserving jurisdiction to make summary modifications pursuant to petitions for reconsideration, do indirectly what Congress has forbidden it to do directly. Pp. 367 U. S. 325-334.

280 F.2d 43 affirmed.

Page 367 U. S. 317

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