DOT’s Congestion Plan Gets Cool Reception

 - June 24, 2008, 11:53 AM

The Transportation Department’s plan to manage congestion at New York’s three area airports drew criticism from industry witnesses and members of Congress last week, and the head of the airline lobby once again used the forum to label business aviation a “significant contributor” to delays in the Northeast corridor. Testifying at the House aviation subcommittee hearing, Air Transport Association president and CEO James May said that non-air carriers accounted for 20 to 30 percent of the peak level of instrument approach operations at the New York Tracon. However, the subcommittee hearing primarily focused on the DOT’s efforts to impose administrative caps and initiate slot auctions at New York’s three main airports, a proposal that was opposed by every panelist except the one representing the DOT. AOPA noted that under the DOT proposal, general aviation, which accounts for less than 4 percent of traffic at La Guardia, would be limited to three operations per hour during congested periods–a 50-percent reduction from the current level of six operations per hour. The association is asking the FAA to suspend the slot auction proposal and maintain the current level of GA access to La Guardia.