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Airspace restrictions eased for holiday

By Michael D. Bolden

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense are broadening the airspace for commercial flights during Thanksgiving week.

The agreement will allow commercial planes to fly through restricted airspace from 6 a.m. Tuesday through 6 a.m. Nov. 29.

"We want to do everything we can to make it easier for people to travel so they can spend Thanksgiving with their loved ones," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement. "We appreciate the military's help in making this happen."

The Department of Defense will release airspace off the East Coast above 24,000 feet; airspace over the Gulf Of Mexico; and airspace over Twentynine Palms, Calif., and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Officials hope the combination of regular routes with dedicated routes through restricted airspace will ease flight congestion.

"The FAA is using all the tools available to try and give airlines the most efficient routes so air travelers can reach their destinations safely and on time," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said.

By Michael D. Bolden  | November 18, 2010; 2:50 PM ET
Categories:  Aviation  
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