The FAA plans changes to some procedures for flights into three Colorado airports for the 2013-2014 Christmas holiday season, according to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). Specifically, the FAA will discontinue use of its air-traffic slot-reservation program for Aspen Airport (ASE), Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) and Garfield County “Rifle” (RIL) airports during this year’s November-through-January holiday season.
The FAA plans to manage traffic volume with other tools, including in-trail spacing and ground delay programs.
Bob Lamond, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure, said, “Over the past decade, the FAA has introduced many more efficient methods for obtaining air traffic slots and vastly reduced the amount of time those systems were in use. The decision to do away with air traffic slot reservations is the logical next step in this progression.” Lamond added that the new program should also eliminate squabbling about the awarding of slots.
The FAA and NBAA plan an education campaign over the next several months that also emphasizes that eliminating slots will not create additional airport capacity. Lamond added that ground stops could be expected when airport parking reaches capacity. NBAA and the FAA will jointly provide complete details on specifics for managing holiday-season traffic at the three Colorado airports as plans are finalized in the coming months.