FAA Chief Heeds Menendez's Call On Consideration Of Flight Schedule Reductions

FAA Chief Heeds Menendez's Call On Consideration Of Flight Schedule Reductions

Blakey today called for airlines to reduce flight schedules, one month after Menendez letter to FAA and DOT urging examination into schedule reductions

Washington - Federal Aviation Administration chief Marion Blakey today publicly called on U.S. airlines to cut back flight schedules to reduce delays while signaling that federal action is possible if they do not. This public statement comes shortly after U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) had urged Blakey and Transportation Secretary Mary Peters to consider flight schedule reductions to provide short term relief from delays. Menendez has expressed serious concern over drastic flight delays, particularly at Newark International Airport.

"Air travelers have been subjected to grueling, over-the-top delays, particularly at Newark," said Menendez. "I believe substantive action is needed, including the consideration of schedule reductions, as my letter of last month spelled out. Administrator Blakey today made an important statement that will hopefully get us rolling toward more on-time flights. This was a line in the sand that needed to be drawn."

In his August letter on flight delays, Menendez called for the following:

· an examination into whether temporary limits on operations (otherwise known as "caps") should be placed on all of the region's airports,

· the immediate convening of schedule reduction meetings with all relevant airlines and operators in the region,

· a reexamining of whether these increased delays can be managed by giving more priority to larger planes, particularly during periods of extreme congestion, and

· a determination of whether the increased number of international flights coming into the region have increased delays for domestic flights.

To read full text of the letter to the FAA: http://menendez.senate.gov/pdf/082107lettertofaa.pdf.

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