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Air Traffic Controller Shortages to Affect East Coast Travel

In travel news for August 10, 2023 we talk about the Federal Aviation Administration encourages airlines to decrease flights out of New York City airports.

New York CITY – If you have travel plans involving New York City airports in the near future, you may want to be prepared for some potential hiccups. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given airlines permission to cut flight schedules from the New York City area without facing penalties, a move attributed to the ongoing shortage of air traffic controllers.

Due to the air traffic controller shortage affecting the aviation sector, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has stated that airlines will not be penalized for reducing their flight schedules from airports in New York City. Existing rules that penalize carriers for under-utilizing their takeoff and landing slots at New York airports will be relaxed till October 28.

Additionally, the slot waiver, initially set to end on September 15, will be extended to certain flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) near Washington D.C.

Major carriers, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and United Airlines, have committed to scaling back flight schedules at prominent New York City airports. This includes LaGuardia Airport (LGA), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). These decisions come in response to the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) measures aimed at ensuring stability during these hectic times.

While airlines have cut their New York flights by six percent this summer, there is some good news. Carriers have increased seat availability by two percent, deploying larger planes. Consequently, flight cancellations at New York City airports have seen a sharp 40 percent decline year-over-year.

For travelers this decision by the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) could negatively affect travelers in a few ways.  Reduced schedules might mean fewer options for travelers, particularly if they need to change or book last-minute flights.  With airlines using larger planes, airports might experience more crowded terminals, longer wait times, and potential boarding delays. And Delays or cancellations in major hubs like New York City can cause a cascade of disruptions across the country.

For those with travel plans through New York City or Washington D.C. airports, consider checking flight schedules regularly, plan for extra time at the airport, and be prepared for potential changes. This situation underscores the importance of flexibility and patience in today's unpredictable travel landscape.

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