Wednesday, May 28, 2008
"This airspace will give travelers yet another reason to thank the military this Memorial Day weekend," Secretary Peters said. "It gives airlines a fighting chance to beat delays by allowing them to plan new routes in one of the most congestion aviation corridors on the country."
The Secretary said that the Department of Defense is making airspace available off the eastern seaboard for commercial airline flights starting at 6 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 23rd. The space will be available continuously until 7 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 27th. She noted that the arrangement follows similar openings of military airspace for last year's Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons.
Secretary Peters added that travelers also are likely to benefit from other steps being taken by the Department of Transportation to reduce air travel delays. She noted, for example, that the Department is pursuing a plan at all three New York airports that combines caps and auctions to reduce congestion while keeping fares low.
She added that the Department's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expanding a program to help airlines avoid delays by adjusting air traffic routes to respond to weather developments. "Even though we can't manage the weather, this program allows us to work around weather conditions and keep traffic moving," said acting FAA Administrator Robert Sturgell.
Secretary Peters also noted that the agency was putting in place a new program that cuts delays by using advance software to scan airports for unused take off and landing "slots." She added that the FAA was also continuing to make a number of new airspace routes available in the New York region to help address chronic aviation backups in the region.