For Immediate Release

October 9, 2003
Contact: Arlene Salac or Jim Peters
Phone: (718) 553-3015

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will begin using a modified air traffic departure procedure this month at Philadelphia International Airport that is projected to reduce delays. Philadelphia currently ranks 4th in the country for air traffic delays.

Currently, Philadelphia’s westerly departures create a bottleneck because there is only one main traffic flow. Forty percent of the airport’s departures are to the west. The modified procedure will split the westerly departures into two separate traffic flows. This will be accomplished by establishing a new “fix.” A “fix” is a set point that air traffic controllers use to help direct aircraft to a specific position. The FAA will establish an additional “fix” 5 miles south of the current one. The changes will be included in electronic and verbal information to pilots and on new charts.

Aircraft will reach the next fix at altitudes of 11,000 feet or above. There will not be any changes made to arrival routes into Philadelphia.

The FAA completed an environmental review of the procedure to ensure that the Federal action is in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.