A long-awaited interim final rule will be published in the next day or two extending through at least April 2008 the FAA’s mandated flight-reduction program to ease congestion at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, including slot reservations for general aviation operations. Through several six-month extensions, the program has been in effect continuously since November 2004; the latest extension was scheduled to expire on October 28.
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In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget this week, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) requested the agency's intervention to ensure that the new FAA policy requiring landing performance assessments before landing, including a new requirement for a mandatory 15-percent margin, for fractional and charter jets complies with all statutory requirements.
General aviation operators at New York La Guardia Airport who are waiting eagerly for the expiration next January 1 of the reservation and slot program under the high-density rule shouldn't hold their breath.
For the time being, air-taxi and fractional jet operators will not be required to add a 15-percent safety margin to actual landing distance as described in a June FAA policy notice and an impending OpSpec. Trade groups had argued that since the policy notice was to become a requirement, the FAA is obligated to follow the rulemaking process, including, an initial notice of proposed rulemaking asking for comments.
The FAA extended to September 22 the public comment period for a draft reevaluation of a proposed centerfield taxiway at Boston Logan International Airport. The FAA deferred its decision on the proposed centerfield taxiway until the taxiway operations north of Runway 15R/33L were assessed. If approved by the FAA, the centerfield taxiway would be a 9,300-foot parallel taxiway between Runway 4L and 4R.
The FAA is requesting public comments on the usefulness of airport advisory services now available part- or full-time at 20 airports in the continental U.S. In the notice, the agency does not give a reason why it’s asking for comments, but it could be collecting data to help decide whether the cost of continuing the service is justified.
The FAA today issued a "proposed order" to keep in effect through at least September of next year the high-density rule at New York La Guardia Airport, including the slot reservation program, that is now scheduled to expire on January 1.
The FAA rejected an apparent request to close Bakersfield Municipal Airport (L45) sent by the mayor of Bakersfield, Calif., on January 5. The mayor’s letter asked the FAA to waive all deed and grant assurance obligations and indicated that the city wished to sell the land to developers to use for non-aeronautical purposes. Through 2004, federal funding of the airport totaled more than $10 million, including $2 million used to buy the airport.
Palwaukee Municipal Airport has a new name. The Wheeling, Ill. airport is now called Chicago Executive. Palwaukee started in 1925 and grew into “the most important reliever airport in the country,” according to the new chairman of the board, Kevin Dohm. A United Airlines pilot, Dohm pointed out that the airport is only eight miles from O’Hare and 20 miles from Chicago’s business district.
London Biggin Hill Airport (Booth No. 4292) is making substantial investments to bolster its standing as one of the UK capital’s leading business aviation gateways. Next week the privately owned facility begins a $1 million construction project to increase its ramp space by 60 percent to provide greater room and flexibility for parking aircraft.