Air Transport World

US airlines pressure ATC changes.(Statistical Data Included)

Stung by vociferous airline criticism of horrendous air traffic delays, FAA told carriers it would alter key ATC procedures in order to provide immediate relief.

Delays this year have skyrocketed due to a combination of bad weather, increased traffic and FAA's cautious handling criteria during introduction of new equipment at major choke points. According to ATA, ATC delays were up 51% in April compared to April 1998 and 37% in May. Continental Airlines said FAA delays per 1,000 operations for the first five months of 1999 were up 267% at Detroit, 131% at DFW, 105% at Cleveland, 142% at Cincinnati and 98% at Chicago O'Hare.

Following a meeting between airline executives and FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, the agency said it would take a number of steps including centralizing control of in-trail separation standards; re-evaluating the use of open-ended ground stops that halt departures to a destination experiencing or projected to experience delays; and increasing use of centralized flow control of the national system rather than relying on local decision-making

The agency also reportedly will delay upgrading controller display systems at Miami and Los Angeles until after 2000. …

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