Thu, May 22, 2008
Follows Similar Measures Employed Last Year
Air travelers along the East Coast
of the United States will once again get some measure of relief
from the military this Memorial Day Weekend, thanks to a new
agreement to make military airspace available for commercial
airline flights off the East Coast, US Transportation Secretary
Mary E. Peters announced Thursday.
"This airspace will give travelers yet another reason to thank
the military this Memorial Day weekend," 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
The Secretary said that the Department of Defense is making four
routes available off the eastern seaboard for commercial airline
flights starting at 1800 EDT on Friday, May 23. The space will be
available continuously until 0700 EDT on Tuesday, May 27.
The arrangement follows similar openings of military airspace
for last year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons,
as ANN reported.
Peters noted travelers may also benefit from other steps
recently 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 slot auctions to reduce congestion.
She added the 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.
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 the FAA was also
continuing to add new airspace routes in the New York region to
help address chronic aviation backups in the region.
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