“The voluntary flight reductions have helped ease the pressure . . . and given all of us some breathing room while we work toward a longer term solution to the capacity challenges at O’Hare,” says the Secretary.
Under terms of the extension, domestic airlines will continue to be limited to 88 scheduled arrivals between 7am and 8pm. Airlines wishing to reschedule flights will require approval from the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) so airport efficiency is not hampered.
New airport entrants and carriers serving O’Hare with less than eight scheduled arrivals may add an additional flight between 9am and noon, pending FAA approval.
Mineta notes that within a month of the original agreement going into effect last November, on-time arrivals improved almost 20% and average arrival delays declined by more than 40% when compared year over year.
As FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey noted in issuing the order to extend O’Hare operating limitations, the intention is to have the limits serve in the interim until more formal rules are formulated to ease congestion problems at the airport.