Snowbird Route Congestion Being Addressed
With input from NBAA, the FAA has taken steps it hopes will reduce air traffic congestion this winter between the Northeast and Florida. So-called "Snowbird" routes between general aviation airports and Florida destinations can become clogged by significant volume increases between November and March, and crippling ground stops have resulted. Key choke points were identified as the ELIOT, WHITE and WAVEY intersections. The Florida airspace optimization project consists of a combination of revising preferential routing, redesigning sector configuration, increasing information flow to and from downstream sectors and adding new "ultra-high-altitude" sectors in certain areas to focus on airspace above the existing high-altitude sectors, which typically top out at about 35,000 feet. The air traffic controllers union (NATCA) issued a press release this morning, when the new routes went into effect, claiming that controllers had not been briefed on the new procedures. For detailed information, visit http://web.nbaa.org/public/ops/airspace/fao.