Airspace Improvements To Benefit Airlines And Passengers
By Bill Goldston
October 23, 2011 - The Air Transport Association of
America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the
leading U.S. airlines, commended the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) for implementing the next phase of
the U.S. Northeast airspace redesign project, which will
bring immediate benefits to airline passengers.
Most of the changes were made to the airspace over the
busy New York airports, enabling flights to operate more
efficiently in and out of the city?s airports, reducing
delays for passengers.
The FAA's Eastern Region Air Traffic Division has redesigned the airspace in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Metropolitan area to reduce delays in the area. The major airports experiencing severe delays are: Newark International (EWR), John F. Kennedy International (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA), Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).
closeness of the airports results in complex interaction between
Flight Crew and Air Traffic Controllers coordination and
circuitous flight paths. The current airspace environment was
inefficient for aviation users and FAA. From January-May 2011,
EWR, LGA, JFK, PHL, and TEB equaled 12% of total National
Airspace System (NAS) operations, 46% of total NAS delays.
designed and implemented the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia
metropolitan air traffic environment in the 1960s. The volume of
air traffic and the types of aircraft that use the airports have
changed significantly. So has the Air Traffic Control system. It
has grown beyond its procedural and operational capacity. As a
result the area services over 8000 flights a day and 4 of the
local airports are on the list of the 10 most delayed airports
in the United States.
industry has long supported the redesign of the most congested
airspace in the U.S. These changes will lead to immediate safety
and efficiency benefits for airlines and passengers, and are a
key component of the larger NextGen air traffic management
project,? said Tom Hendricks, ATA?s senior vice president of
safety, operations and security. ?These changes were possible
thanks to FAA?s strong collaboration with the industry and
labor. While further work remains to be done, this template is
the best way to bring needed changes throughout the National
For more than a decade, the industry has urged the FAA to move forward with changes to the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia airspace as the airports in that sector suffer from some of the worst delays in the country. Nearly half of all national airspace delays occur in the New York and Philadelphia airspace. This same congested airspace can have a ripple effect of delays to other parts of the United States, especially during weather disruptions.
The second stage
of airspace changes implemented today will enable airlines additional
flexibility in terms of routings when they arrive or depart the New York
metro area. The changes will also lead to improvements as far south as
the Washington metro area. Some examples of the changes made today
include the following: Aircraft
leaving New York City airports heading west now have the option to use
fifth departure route. This route will allow planes to climb more
efficiently to higher and less-congested cruising altitudes.
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