Monday, August 11, 2008

DOT's Anti-Air-Traffic Solution

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix
By Dan Caterinicchia\USA Today

Slot auctions designed to reduce delays and increase competition are coming to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, the government said Friday.

The Transportation Department also said the government and industry must improve procedures for complying with maintenance and safety rules to avoid massive flight cancellations, like those that left hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded last month when American Airlines and other carriers had to ground MD-80 jetliners to inspect or redo wiring. Those inspections were supposed to have been completed by March 5.

Under one option at JFK, 10% of the airline's slots above the base amount would be made available via an auction and the proceeds would be invested in congestion and capacity improvements in the region. Or the airlines would auction 20% of slots above the baseline and keep all of the proceeds.

Depending on the option, up to 179 slots of the airport's 1,245 could be affected, Peters said.

The plan also calls for auctioning 10% of slots at Newark above the baseline annually for the first five years of the rule, making 96 slots out of 1,219 at the airport auctioned over the 10-year span.

The Air Transport Association, which represents the nation's largest airlines, said the government lacks the legal authority to impose the auctions. The group also doesn't think the plans will alleviate delays.

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