This book examines the role of government intervention in economic affairs by looking at the case of airside airport congestion. There has been movement in the U.S. in the past few decades towards the use of market mechanisms to achieve public policy and planning ends. This book looks at how those ideas have manifested themselves in the airline industry and affected proposed policy solutions for the problem of airport congestion. The first part of the dissertation provides a brief history of government intervention in economic affairs and some background on the airline industry. This is followed by two literature reviews; the first regarding airline deregulation and the second airport peak pricing, which is the most commonly proposed solution to airport congestion. These reviews show flaws in the theoretical basis for reliance on pricing mechanisms rather than regulatory ones. An examination of Boston, New York and London reveals that peak pricing at airports has not been used as a market mechanism, but rather as a regulatory policy cloaked in the language of the market. This leads to the conclusion that more comprehensive approaches to solving airport congestion are needed.