FAA Proposes Congestion Management Rule for JFK and Newark Liberty

In the May 21, 2008, issue of the Federal Register, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed a new rule affecting two airports that are a part of the East Coast Airspace Redesign.  The FAA proposes to establish procedures to address congestion in the New York City area by assigning slots at JFK and Newark Liberty Airports in a way that allows carriers to respond to market forces to drive efficient airline behavior.

  • The FAA’s proposed rule is similar in many respects to its proposal for LaGuardia airport.
  • This proposal, however, takes into account the fact that both JFK and Newark have a large number of international flights, which implicates FAA’s international obligations.
  • The FAA proposes to
    • extend the caps on the operations at the two airports,
    • assign to existing operators the majority of slots at the airports, and
    • create a market by annually auctioning off a limited number of slots in each of the first five years of this rule.

The proposed rule offers two alternatives in the method of assigning slots at the airport. Under the first alternative:

  • the assignment of slots at JFK and Newark would be conducted through a uniform mechanism.
  • The FAA would auction off a portion of the slots and would use the proceeds to mitigate congestion and delay in the New York City area.

Under the second alternative, the same auction procedure would apply at Newark as under the first alternative but at JFK the auction proceeds would go to the carrier holding the slot rather than to the FAA.

For both alternatives, this proposal also contains:

  • provisions for minimum usage,
  • capping unscheduled operations, and
  • withdrawal for operational need.

The FAA proposes to sunset the rule in ten years. For additional information and coverage about this topic see:

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