FAA expands airspace flow program

 - May 31, 2007, 6:30 AM

The FAA said last month that this summer it will greatly expand the airspace flow program (AFP), an initiative it implemented last summer to better manage airline delays associated with summer thunderstorms. In all, seven combinations were available for use last year, mainly to meter the flow of traffic to the Northeast. This year operators can expect 18 separate geographic possibilities when the program expands to the Midwest. In addition, the agency has reserved the right to develop “dynamic” AFPs that are created and implemented in real time. NBAA said it advocated for a number of improvements over last year’s programs, including better notification of when an operator will be faced with a delay. Though the jury is still out on the effectiveness of the program, the FAA said it used AFPs 36 times last summer for a 20-percent reduction in delays associated with the ground delay program.