Chicago O’Hare Slot Program Final Rule

 - November 13, 2006, 9:44 AM

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. The program limits all Part 91 and 135 IFR and VFR unscheduled flights to four operations per hour from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. This final rule is intended to be an interim measure only, as the FAA anticipates longer-term solutions to traffic congestion at the airport. Such solutions include plans by the City of Chicago to modernize the airport and reduce delays. For this reason, the FAA said this final rule includes provisions allowing for the limits it imposes to be gradually relaxed, “and in any event the regulation will sunset in 2008.”