FAA extends caps on peak hour operations at New York airports

Washington DC
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Officials from the US FAA are extending caps on peak hour operations instituted in 2008 at the three largest New York-area airports by two years.

The caps are due to expire this month, and FAA says after hearing various comments it opted to extend the expiration of the rules by two years instead of one. Now the extensions will continue through October 2011.

"While the FAA does not agree that an indefinite extension is appropriate, the FAA will increase the duration of the present extension to about two years to accommodate carriers' longer term planning," the agency explains. The agency says that using the minimum number of short-term extensions would offer the benefit of regular status reports on FAA's efforts in establishing a longer-term solution for congestion at the airports.

Under the 2008 rulemaking both New York JFK and Newark are limited to about 81 operations per hour during peak times, while LaGuardia is capped at 71 operations per hour.

In May of this year US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood proposed cancelling proposed slot auctions at the New York airports that were introduced in the previous administration. The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) in 2008 won a court-ordered stay of the slot auction process.

LaHood has previously said he planned to meet with airlines, airport operators and other stakeholders over the summer to determine plans to manage congestions at the airports.