US Department of Transportation Inspector General Kenneth Mead is proposing that the US Federal Aviation Administration imposes higher landing fees or implements slot controls during peak hours at congested airports.

The move would be aimed at forcing airlines to alter their schedules in an effort to reduce the country's flight delays.

Flight delays took centre stage at a recent US Congressional hearing when government and industry officials came up with a series of measures to alleviate the problem.

The US Air Transport Association (ATA) has blamed a shortage of runways. The American Association of Airport Executives says adding "50 miles [80km] of runways" at the nation's 25 busiest airports would eliminate most delays since a new runway can allow 30-40 more operations per hour.

Source: Flight International