Published on Monday, September 14, 2020

FAA mulls waiving minimum flight requirements for cash-strapped airlines

The Federal Aviation Administration says it is open to waiving the minimum flight requirements for airlines at some congested airports.

The FAA said it is proposing to extend temporary waivers at New York's two airports and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for an extra six months.

The waiver would be extended through March 2021.

There is a separate system in place at airports including Chicago O'Hare, Newark, Los Angeles and San Francisco, so airlines wouldn't be in danger of losing their slots.

Under normal conditions airlines could lose slots if they operate less than 80% of scheduled flights.

The agency would impose some conditions that empty slots not used for an extended period of time should be offered to a rival airline on a temporary basis if requested.

The FAA says it has tried to strike a balance between 'competing interests of carriers interested in conducting ad hoc operations... against the interests of incumbent carriers seeking maximum flexibility in making scheduling and operational decisions.'

The major US airlines have continually asked for an extension to financial aid to get through the crisis.

Current federal funding which protects thousands of airline jobs expires at the end of this month.

Delta Air Lines told the FAA it plans to operate no more than 60% of its slots in New York and Washington DC.


Written by Ray Montgomery, US editor

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