Washington, DC, April 6, 2015 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) urges its Members to weigh in on a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposal that would significantly reduce the ability of general aviation (GA) and business aviation operations to access critical airports in the New York City area. The agency recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that aims to reduce unscheduled slot allocations at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey.
If enacted in its current form, the proposed rule would finalize temporary restrictions on landing slots at these airports that are due to expire on Oct. 29, 2016, in what the FAA called, “a longer-term and comprehensive approach to slot management at JFK, EWR and LGA.”
While slot restrictions on commercial airline operations have been in place at these airports for decades, only LaGuardia currently imposes a slot limitation of three unscheduled operations per hour between 6 a.m. and 9:59 p.m. local time. The NPRM would keep those restrictions in place at LGA, while also limiting unscheduled operations during most of the day at EWR to one slot per hour, and two slots per hour at JFK.
Learn more about the NYC-area airport slot restrictions.
Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president for regulatory and international affairs, noted that such restrictions would impact many types of GA and business aviation operations, including emergency organ transport and air ambulance flights.
“This proposal significantly threatens the ability to access vital airports in New York and New Jersey,” Carr continued. “The FAA’s evaluation fails to consider a number of critical data points, including why unscheduled operations utilize these airports, and also the significant financial impact this proposal will have on fixed-base operators that support unscheduled operations at the three airports.”
Additionally, factors such as prevailing weather conditions, runway configurations and airport services can often make these airports the best options for an unscheduled operation arriving or departing the New York City area, and such limits could threaten operator safety when conditions favor operating from a larger airport.
The NPRM comment period closes on May 8, and Carr encouraged NBAA Members to review the Association’s resource about the proposed restrictions, and submit their comments opposing the FAA’s proposal. Submit comments to the FAA.
“The FAA’s evaluation of the impact of this proposal on the business aviation community fails to consider the realities of air traffic operations that can make access to other airports difficult,” he added. “Any proposal restricting airport access is cause for concern, and this NPRM would establish a dangerous precedent that negatively affects all business aviation operations.”
Operators should also review their use of New York and New Jersey area airports, Carr noted, and determine how the new slot limitations might affect their operations.