WASHINGTON, Dec 29 (Reuters) – A group representing major passenger airlines on Friday urged U.S. transportation officials to further address the impact of private jet and air traffic controller shortages on holiday flight delays and cancellations. I asked.
Airlines for America, the group representing American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and others, issued a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Whitaker on the urged all possible actions to be taken to find the right balance of improvements in civil air traffic aimed at minimizing delays and cancellations for the traveling public. ”
In the letter, the group called for “all possible measures to be taken, especially to avoid triggering the deployment of large numbers of personnel” for air traffic control.
The FAA said airlines, general aviation and others “sit in command centers where the FAA monitors the airspace 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing updates every two hours.”
The FAA said, “As air travel continues to recover, the FAA is taking immediate steps to recruit, train, and hire more air traffic controllers,” but it remains at about 20%. admits that 3,000 controllers below optimal level.
According to preliminary data from Dec. 20 to Dec. 27, 77% of delays were due to volume, 19.1% were due to weather and 0.9% were due to FAA staffing, the agency said.
Buttigieg said this month that U.S. flight cancellations are on pace to be the lowest in five years. He and Whitaker are prioritizing adding air traffic control personnel.
In September, the FAA extended reduced minimum operating requirements at busy New York City-area airports through October 2024, citing staffing shortages. New York terminal radar approach control staffing remains at only 54% of recommended levels.
A government monitoring report in June said critical air traffic facilities were facing significant staffing challenges, posing risks to air traffic operations. Many facilities require air traffic controllers to work overtime and work six days a week to make up for the shortage.
whitaker Last week he said he would name the panel It was led by a former safety board official to address fatigue among air traffic controllers after a series of near-miss incidents.
Reporting by David Shepherdson.Editing: Diane Craft, Aurora Ellis, David Gregorio