FAA Issues Final Decision on Airspace Redesign

Sept. 5, 2007 — WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a final decision for redesigning the New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia metropolitan area airspace that is expected to reduce delays, fuel consumption, aircraft emissions and noise.

“This new concept in airspace design will help us handle the rapidly growing number of flights in the Northeast in a much more efficient way,” said FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey. “This airspace was first designed in the 1960s and has become much more complex. We now need to look at creative new ways to avoid delays.”

The formal Record of Decision (ROD) for the Airspace Redesign Study supports the FAA’s preferred alternative.

The FAA did extensive analysis and held more than 120 public meetings in five states throughout the environmental process. The airspace redesign involved a 31,000-square-mile area over New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut with a population of 29 million residents. Twenty-one airports were included in the study.

In December 2006, FAA released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the study. In March 2007, FAA identified the Integrated Airspace Alternative as its preferred alternative. On August 3, 2007, notice of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was published in the Federal Register.

FAA studies show this alternative will reduce delays, complexity of the current air traffic system, fuel consumption and carbon emissions and aircraft noise. Benefits, in the form of reduced delays, are estimated to reach 20 percent by the year 2011 compared to the amount of delays the air traffic system would have without the changes. Half a million fewer people will be exposed to noise under this alternative compared to no change.

This Alternative integrates the airspace surrounding the metropolitan area and expands the use of more efficient separation standards. This alternative will also allow the FAA to move more rapidly toward satellite-based technology.

Additional project information is available at the following website: www.faa.gov/nynjphl_airspace_redesign