Carrier Calls On Congress To Modernize Air Traffic Control
Anticipating storm-related delays Thursday, Delta Air Lines took
a proactive approach and cancelled about 200 flights from several
"Delta is proactively thinning flights in the Northeast corridor
and approximately 200 mainline and Delta Connection flights could
be canceled. Customers whose travel plans are (were) affected by
cancellations may request refunds or re-accommodation on alternate
flights without fee or penalty,' said the carrier.
Affected airports were New York: JFK and LGA, Newark, NJ,
Hartford CT, Providence, RI, Boston, Washington Reagan and Dulles,
Baltimore and Philadelphia.
The Associated Press reports Delta made the decision to trim the
flights, about a third of the carrier's total northeast flights,
after the Federal Aviation Administration alerted airlines Thursday
it would slow air traffic in the region because of bad weather
"Delta's focus is always the comfort and safety of our customers
and we will continue to work to mitigate ongoing air traffic
control-related congestion and delays. However, (Thursday's) storms
are another example of why it is critical that Congress act to
modernize the nation's air traffic control system," said Joe
Kolshak, Delta's executive vice president and chief of
Being forced to cancel some flights to reduce delays to others
should indicate the dire need for an upgraded air traffic control
system, Kolshak said.
fundamentally unfair to our customers that we are operating in a
system that was built in the 1940s and can't accommodate today's
air travel demand without costly and frustrating delays and
congestion that are beyond our control," he added. "The FAA has
presented a plan to Congress that helps ensure airline passengers
are provided with an updated, 21st century air traffic control
system. We urge Congress to approve the FAA's plan to increase
airspace capacity, especially in the Northeast, and to get away
from the status quo and act boldly to modernize our nation's
outdated air traffic control system."
"If you think of a freeway at rush hour, the current FAA system
is like metering a car on the freeway every five minutes," Kolshak
He said the carrier's thinned schedule did serve to reduce
delays among the rest of its remaining flights.
"While it does inconvenience some people, the goal is to
minimize the impact to as few people as possible," he said.