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The Latest on JFK Int'l: Change Is Coming

Cindy Loose

It's a done deal: To improve the terrible delay problems, airlines will bring no more than 81 to 83 flights an hour into New York's JFK International, down from 100 or more at peak times, according to an announcement today by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Even if you never fly into JFK, you have reason to be thankful, as fully one-third of all U.S. air traffic comes through New York airspace, said Jim May of the Air Transport Association at a news conference today.

As you well know, conjestion and delays in New York mean conjestion and delays everywhere.

If you have a flight booked into or out of JKF in the new few months, don't worry; you shouldn't be getting a call saying your flight has been canceled. The reduced schedules won't go into effect until March at the earliest (the date is not yet set).

The DOT is also appointing a New York air czar. It's an overused word, but one that signals someone will be given real power to make decisions about how to improve conjestion in New York air space.

The other news is about what didn't happen. The DOT didn't say or do anything about corporate jet traffic, which May says accounts for more than 18 percent of traffic in New York air space. He notes that a jet carrying one CEO and a commercial airliner with 500 passengers takes up the same amount of air traffic controller time.

Also, the DOT backed away from auctioning off existing airplane slots. The airlines apparently made a compelling argument that they'd invested a lot of money into marketing and facilities and the government had no right to take that away and sell slots to the highest bidder. However, the DOT promises to expand capacity in New York -- meaning it'll make more room somehow for more planes and more flights eventually -- and that those new slots will be auctioned off.

Seems to me the corporate jet problem still needs some attention. What do you think?

By Cindy Loose |  December 19, 2007; 3:44 PM ET  | Category:  Airline Industry , Airports , Cindy Loose
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Posted by: Kase | December 19, 2007 6:28 PM

What about Cargo flights? I live in Wilkes-Barre PA. There is an effort here locally to build a dedicated cargo airport. The thinking is that it not only will benifit the local economy, it will also help ease the congestion at JFK, Laguardia and Newark. Of course, it is a political hot potato. Issues dealing with funding, road congestion, lack of commitments at this point of future utilization by UPS, Fedex, DHL etc. abound.

Posted by: rja112 | December 19, 2007 10:29 PM

I think the idea of a dedicated cargo airport is interesting. If they were built well outside of cities, it would reduce traffic in the cities, and build up the economy in depressed areas. I don't know what extra fees are paid by corporate jets, versus commercial flights. It should be like the hot lanes in traffic, you should have to pay for the privilege.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 20, 2007 10:33 AM

"conjestion". Really? So much for that literacy in newpapers program . . .

Posted by: Larry | December 27, 2007 4:22 PM

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