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FAA Can't Implement New N.Y. Holding Procedures; Not Enough Controllers! - (12/30/2008)

CONTACTS: New York Center NATCA Facility Representative, Julio Henriques, 631-786-3838; New York TRACON NATCA Facility Representative Dean Iacopelli, 516-356-3983 

NEW YORK – Air travelers in the Northeast corridor have caught a slight break, albeit most likely temporary. The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday was unable to implement its flawed and inefficient new airspace procedures for a holding pattern above New York because of another flawed, inefficient and chronic agency condition: It didn’t have enough air traffic controllers at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility. 

FAA management at New York TRACON was forced to issue this bulletin on Monday: “THIS EVENINGS CAMRN HOLDING PATTERN PROCEDURE WILL NOT TAKE PLACE. THIS WAS A DECISION MADE BY THE OM (operational manager) AND IS DUE TO JFK AREA STAFFING.” 

The FAA did not announce a new start date. So the possibility still exists that travelers could soon face a fresh set of delays for flights out of New York or Philadelphia. 

The “CAMRN” holding pattern involves airspace presently used for accommodating delayed aircraft into New York’s Kennedy International Airport. The FAA wants to forcibly transfer that airspace from New York Air Route Traffic Control Center to New York (TRACON). If it ever happens, what it will mean is that travelers arriving into JFK and departing out of Newark going to the Caribbean should expect delays. Also affected would be flights out of Newark headed to destinations in the Southeastern United States and those operating out of Philadelphia to European destinations and Northeast U.S. airports.


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