Despite years of effort, the air-travel bottleneck at New York's three commercial airports remains troublesome, the Associated Press reports. The FAA is trying to implement new airspace patterns and air traffic control technologies, but both projects face significant delays. In the meantime, takeoffs can occur every 40 to 50 seconds at peak hours, and controllers sometimes can't talk fast enough to communicate with all their pilots. "All we can do is take them and space them out as close as FAA rules allow," says one controller. "It's not like you can put more aircraft in there. That's it. We're just maxed out."

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