The DOT next week will announce its plan for easing flight delays at JFK and other New York area airports. An industry task force last week submitted a list of suggestions for Transportation Secretary Mary Peters to consider in deliberations in advance of her report to President George W. Bush next week. Airlines and regional airports have expressed concern over some proposals made by the DOT, including imposed limits on flights to and from New York's John F. Kennedy airport and congestion pricing fees during peak traffic times.
The Air Transport Association, Port Authority and groups representing passengers and business groups are holding a news conference today to express their opposition to a government plan to impose flight scheduling caps at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The groups say limiting flights will hurt business without easing congestion.
The governors of New Jersey and New York yesterday sent a letter to DOT Secretary Mary Peters, going on record as opposing schedule caps at JFK Airport. The plan would be a "crippling blow" to the region, they say, and would worsen delays at Newark International.
Airline executives were not pleased to hear that government officials are considering schedule reductions at JFK as a solution to air congestion in the New York airport, noting that customers are demanding the high number of flights. "Placing artificial constraints on the country's premier international gateway is not in the best interest of Delta customers," said a Delta spokesman.
The Transportation Department has said that if next week's talks with aviation industry leaders don't result in voluntary schedule reductions at JFK, the agency may step in and impose schedule caps. Air Transport Association President and CEO James May said he was disappointed with the proposed move. "Slashing operations at JFK alone will not solve the congestion problem, but will shut the door on growth for our country's leading international gateway," he said.