More Details on Airspace Flow Programs

 - January 8, 2007, 7:36 AM

The first trial of the FAA’s new airspace flow programs (AFP) begins shortly, likely during the next occurrence of severe thunderstorm-related weather in the Northeast U.S. The AFP allows ATC to impose delays on traffic scheduled to fly through areas constrained by severe weather. Delays are designed to affect en route traffic only, not traffic for destination airports unaffected by weather. Pilots will have to check for AFPs during flight planning. If a departing flight is affected by an AFP, the FAA will issue an expect departure clearance time (EDCT). Pilots must take off within five minutes before or after an EDCT. Traffic flying over or around AFPs should not see delays. Taking off without knowledge of an applicable EDCT means a pilot might have to hold, be rerouted or land at an alternate. More information is available at, and Starting May 1, check to see if your flight has been issued an EDCT.