Flying Out of New York? FAA Expecting Even Worse Delays this Summer
If you're planning or have a trip booked for this summer, you might want to add some extra time around your flight.
There are many factors that lead to delays with air travel. Most will be because of the weather, but you know it's an even bigger problem when they start coming from a staff shortage at the airport.
High Traffic in New York
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently made an announcement, warning the industry of a significantly important staffing shortage in New York. This problem is causing problems nationwide, and other airlines are asked to make operational adjustments to compensate.
The amount of travelers coming in and out of New York City caused a long list of disruptions, delays and cancellations. These problems then trickled their way into other airports, delaying their passengers flights just as much.
If something isn't done, the FAA is predicting 45% more delays this summer. In a statement, a spokesperson says all of their efforts are focused on finding a solution to this ongoing problem.
The FAA is taking several steps to keep air travel to and from New York City this summer safe and smooth, even as we see strong domestic demand and a return of pre-pandemic international traffic.
The new problem isn't just traffic though, it has to do with a key factor missing in the airport.
Air Traffic Controller Shortage
New York City is facing an severe problem that can't be overlooked. The FAA recently stated they are facing a major shortage of air traffic controllers.
These men and women work out of the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), located on Long Island. They are responsible for directing flights to and from New York's most popular airports. These being John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
TRACON's staffing levels currently stand at 54% of what's needed, compared to other air control centers who sit on average at 81%. The FAA says staffing hasn't rebounded since new pandemic safety measures changed their training at the facility.
What's the Plan?
Luckily, the FAA does have a proposed plan in the works. They've advised airlines to operate fewer flights, while also using bigger planes to fit more people in them. This way airport and airspace traffic will be less chaotic during the hot travel time in the summer.
According to Travel Pulse, airlines have been given a deadline of April 30th to decide their next move. Major carriers like United and Delta Air Lines have already shown their approval of the FAA's proposal.