Wants Strict Limits On Maximum Number Of Flights Throughout
Bringing order to chaos -- that's
what the US Department of Transportation hopes to do at New York's
JFK International Airport. Friday, the agency released its target
figures for the number of daily flights that can safely be handled
at JFK, in advance of next week's schedule reduction meeting
between the FAA and airlines.
These initial targets are required by statute to begin the
scheduling reduction meeting and to determine the flight reductions
required to reduce congestion at JFK, according to Transportation
Secretary Mary Peters.
As ANN reported, the meeting
will be held October 23-24 in Washington.
"Our strong preference is to develop market-based solutions that
will address delays and preserve passenger choice," Secretary
Peters said. "But we will consider scheduling reductions as a last
resort in order to prevent a repeat of this summer’s
Peters said that from 0600 to 2159 local time daily, the target
for the number of flights per hour is 80 -- except for 1500 to
1859, when the target will be 81 flights. To efficiently space
flights throughout an entire hour, the Department also set a
30-minute maximum of total flights at 44, and the 15-minute maximum
at 24 flights.
In addition, to evenly spread demand for both arrivals and
departures and to make the best use of the airport’s runway
configuration, the number of arrivals or departures may not exceed
53 in any one hour period, 29 in any 30-minute period or 16 in any
15-minute period, Peters said.
To set the targets, the FAA reviewed hourly arrivals and
departures from July 2005 through July 2007. The review determined
an increase in capacity, from 74 operations per hour between July
2005 and June 2006 to 81 from February through July 2007. However,
during the same period, airlines increased their operations at JFK
by more than 40 percent, causing on-time arrival performance at the
airport to slip to 59 percent in July 2007, she said.
The scheduling meeting is part of a two-pronged approach to
address chronic New York delays, Peters said. She has also charged
a group of airline, airport and travel officials with developing a
series of market-based measures to reduce congestion at New
York’s three major airports before the start of the 2008
summer travel season.