For Immediate Release

March 23, 2007
Contact: Arlene Salac-Murray or Jim Peters
Phone: (718) 553-3015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new way of handling air traffic in and around New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia will help reduce delays and will make air travel more reliable, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said today.

After extensive analysis and public hearings in five states — New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut — the FAA has identified its preferred airspace redesign alternative for the New York area. That plan would combine high-altitude and low-altitude airspace to create more efficient arrival and departure routes. The preferred alternative is one of four proposals being studied.

“This new concept in airspace design will help us handle the rapidly growing number of flights in the Northeast in a much more efficient way,” said FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey. “This airspace has been unchanged since the 1960s, and we need to look at creative new ways to avoid delays.”

The plan, known as the Integrated Airspace Alternative, would reduce the complexity of the current air traffic system operation in the New York area and Philadelphia by more efficiently directing aircraft to and from major airports in the two metropolitan areas.

The FAA identified the preferred alternative as part of the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Airspace Redesign environmental process.

The preferred alternative would save an estimated 12 million minutes of delay annually for the four major metropolitan airports — Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark and Philadelphia.

The agency expects to publish the final Environmental Impact Statement sometime this summer. A series of five informational meetings, one in each study area state, will be held late next month and in early May to discuss noise mitigation associated with the preferred alternative. The Agency expects to issue a Record of Decision, the agency’s decision on how to proceed with the airspace redesign project, in late summer 2007.

Additional project information is available at the following website: