Report Out On NY Flight Delays Causes
And Nationwide Effects
November 3, 2010 - The Department of Transportationís Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued their report on the causes and nationwide effects of flight delays at the principal New York area airports; Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark.
The Chairman of
the House Subcommittee on Aviation requested that OIG determine the
principal causes of flights delays in the
During the summer
of 2007, these airports led the Nation with over 40 percent of arriving
flights either delayed or cancelled. OIG conducted an audit from June
2009 through August 2010 in accordance with government auditing
standards prescribed by the Comptroller General of the
OIG based their
observations and conclusions on interviews with Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA), air carriers, and the Port Authority of New York
OIG reported that flight delays in the New York area have three main causes; crowded airspace due to the close proximity and high volume of flight operations of the three main New York airports, airport capacity constraints, and continued growth in air traffic during the last 10 years, in part due to the phase-out of flight limits (caps) from 2000 to 2007.
In 2008, the FAA
reestablished caps at Kennedy and imposed them for the first time at
OIG made four recommendations to the FAA aimed at reexamining its flight caps, enhancing existing flight data, and developing a viable methodology for understanding delay propagation effects. The FAA fully concurred with one recommendation and partially concurred with three. OIG is requesting that the FAA provide OIG with a new written response addressing specific issues with these three recommendations within 30 days.
Flight delays have
been a significant problem for the
attempted to manage flight delays at LaGuardia,
To prevent delays
from getting worse, the FAA reintroduced flight caps in 2008. Yet, these
new caps have done little to reduce delays at
While there is
substantial agreement within the aviation community that
Although the FAA
has initiated two projects to measure delay propagation, additional work
remains before either will prove to be useful analyses of delay
propagation. As a result, no one fully understands the impact of
Gaining a greater
understanding of the dynamics of flight delays and their nationwide
impact will aid the FAAís efforts to reduce flight delays and
congestion, better manage air traffic, and improve investment decisions.
OIG is recommending that the FAA
flight caps at Kennedy, LaGuardia, and
2. Establish a working group of air carriers, academia, and other aviation research organizations to enhance the understanding of delay propagation (e.g., develop viable analytic.
existing flight delay data by obtaining aircraft tail numbers for
domestic and international flight operations of
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