Task Force Against 'Congestion Pricing'
An aviation task force
convened by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has
suggested express flight paths for congested routes to help ease
traffic that is choking up the region's three major airports,
according to the Associated Press.
The Port Authority made over 100 suggestions to help ease flight
delays at La Guardia, Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports last
The group, comprised of state officials, aviation experts and
airline executives, has been meeting since spring also suggested
special flights direct to Washington D.C., and even new taxiways at
their airports. With help from the Federal Aviation Administration,
the Port Authority may adopt as many as twenty seven different task
force recommendation as soon as the summer of 2008.
Anthony E. Shorris,
Port Authority executive director said, "None of the proposals is a
blockbuster, but together they could be a big help, even if they
allow an airport to squeeze through only six more flights an hour."
Peak periods at the airports have as many as 75 and 100 flights per
hour being handled.
A report due this week from the U.S. Department of
Transportation cast a shadow on the group's work. USDOT has its own
group to address the New York-area delays. President Bush even
declared that something needed to be done about flight delays in
New York, as they were hampering the country's air travel
DOT officials said the Port Authority group had highlighted some
good ideas for improving operations at the airport, including many
the government has begun putting in place or will be done by the
end of the fiscal year, according to Department of Transportation
spokesman Brian Turmail. But, Turmail added that capacity
improvements alone might not be enough to handle airline frequency
Federal officials are looking at imposing a cap on the number of
hourly flights at JFK next summer if airlines don't get the message
and reduce their flight schedules.
"Market-based solutions" including congestion pricing, where
airline landing and departure fees are increased during peak hours
may be imposed, according to DOT's Turmail.
The Port Authority and the airlines are directly opposed to caps
and congestion pricing--neither was among the recommendations
offered at Thursday's meeting.