Monday, June 07, 2010

Hope Eternal



Is is a sign of a new future? Or just the same old stuff?

Airlines overpack for summer travel

”The scheduling snarls occur at the top of the hour, when research shows flights make more money, aviation consultant Darryl Jenkins said. On Thursday, for example, American Airlines scheduled 27 flights and United scheduled 39 flights between 8 a.m. and 8:15 a.m., according to FlightStats.com. That's seven more flights than the airport can handle under the best conditions.

"O'Hare can handle more than 100 departures an hour, but not 50 in a 10-minute window," Babbitt said in a phone interview.”


Yes, that was the FAA’s Randy Babbitt with a none-too-subtle smackdown of the airlines.

The article is full of some interesting numbers. You’ll want to read this one for sure. But they’re still going to make you work for it and do some math.

”O'Hare's carriers had scheduled an average of 77 arrivals and departures between 8 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on weekdays in June. That's five planes landing or taking off per minute, and it's nearly double the 42 aircraft operations scheduled during the same 15-minute span in June 2009.

Largely as a result of United's schedule tweaks, an average of 54 flights are now planned during that time span each weekday, although the actual number will vary, FAA officials said. In good weather, O'Hare can handle only 59 flights every 15 minutes. Its capacity sinks to 48 departures and arrivals per quarter-hour when visibility is poor, according to the FAA.“


I’m too old to get excited about a few words from an Administrator -- words without regulation are worthless -- but at least he’s talking in the right direction. Hope is eternal.

Don Brown
June 7, 2010

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