Airlines' tight scheduling of departures has led to waves of delays that could be avoided by simply scheduling fewer flights, according to the FAA. Airlines jam in as many flights as can be handled in peak travel times on good-weather days at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, and by spreading out departures and arrivals during slower periods when there is more capacity at gates and on runways, airlines could help alleviate the problem, FAA officials said. Airline officials say they schedule flights based on when customers want to fly, and have "de-peaked" their schedules in recent years. Carriers also say that the government should focus their efforts on modernizing the nation's air-traffic control system.

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