Sat, Jul 15, 2006
Should Mean Fewer Diversions, Delays For Storms
If you're afraid your commercial
flight may be delayed this summer by thunderstorms, take heart: on
Thursday, the FAA introduced its Airspace Flow Program, which
should mean more on-time flights during the stormy travel
The Orlando Sentinel reports under the program, airlines will be
allowed to fly into airports affected by bad weather, just as long
as their flight path doesn't intersect the storm. Under the
previous system, the FAA would usually ground all flights to and
from an affected airport, regardless of how close those flights
would actually come to the storms.
With the new system -- which is being tested in the Northeast
now, with other regions expected to receive the software by this
time next year -- as long as an approach-departure corridor is
available away from the storms, most flights should be able to land
and depart as scheduled.
"It allows us to target specifically those flights that would
have to fly through the bad weather and only delay those flights,"
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said.
The agency says the new system could save airlines and travelers
$900 million during the next 10 years, in reduced delays and fuel
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