Snowbird Alert

 - March 30, 2007, 11:06 AM

East Coast schedulers and dispatchers should be aware that the FAA is anticipating record volumes of air traffic between Florida and the Northeast as spring approaches and is urging use of the offshore “snowbird routes.”

The agency also warns that crews should be prepared for delays and re-routing. President’s Day weekend in late February, said the FAA, was an indication of things to come. During that three-day period, traffic transiting Miami Center increased 148 percent from the same period last year.

NBAA suggests that operators review the “snowbird routes” carefully, as some are recommended (“RMD” at the header), others are required (“RQD” at the header) and others are “FYI” only. Some traffic might be offloaded to J75 (Snowbird01FYI Advisory 26 in the ATC Advisory database). Crews can file the preferred routes, but they might be rerouted to J75 inland for demand purposes at each ATC sector.

Operators should file flight plans early to give Miami and Jacksonville centers a better idea of what the demand will be. This is especially important for operators expecting quick turns at Florida airports. NBAA has lobbied successfully for Runway 09R at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International (FLL), Fla., to be made temporarily available for general aviation aircraft.