Transport Airports

Flights in the U.S. Could Be Faster if Airlines Would Listen to the FAA

Jun 22, 2014 12:00 pm

Skift Take

Until the procedures are actually used it’s really up for grabs as to how well they’ll work. In the meantime, airlines will do what’s best from them individually.

— Jason Clampet

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The Pantagraph, Steve Smedley  / Associated Press

An American Eagle flight waits for release from the air traffic control tower at Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Ill. The Pantagraph, Steve Smedley / Associated Press


U.S. aviation regulators’ attempts to streamline flight routes into major airports have been plagued by delays and airlines’ low usage of the new procedures, according to a government report.

The Federal Aviation Administration lacks standard training for pilot and air-traffic controllers on how to utilize the new routes, the Transportation Department’s Inspector General said today.

As a result, flight paths into 14 major airports designed to improve efficiency have been used by only 2 percent of eligible airline flights, the report said. Introducing more precise flight tracks is a cornerstone of the FAA’s NextGen program to modernize the air-traffic system.

The report comes a day after the FAA touted the introduction of new routes into and out of the Houston area. The FAA said the more-efficient routings would save airlines 3 million gallons of fuel each year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Levin in Washington at alevin24@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Romaine Bostick at rbostick@bloomberg.net; Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net.

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