By all accounts, 2007 was the worst year on record for airline tardiness and airport congestion, and with the Thanksgiving travel season starting in just a few days, the worst of it might be yet to come. President Bush this week sought clear action to reverse the congestion and late-flight dilemma by ordering the Pentagon to demilitarize airspace from Florida to Maine to create “a Thanksgiving express lane” for commercial airliners.
The lane will be open Wednesday through Sunday next week, the busiest days of the holiday season. Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration will free up FAA personnel and equipment during this period in an attempt to keep flights on time.
Among other decisions made Thursday to mitigate airport congestion, the FAA will increase airport efficiency by rerouting air space and using different runways for takeoffs and landings. Further, stiff fines will be levied against carriers that continue to run chronically delayed flights.