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Specter Urges FAA to Promptly Provide a Remedy to Reduce Air Traffic Congestion

Location: Washington, DC


Today's Letter Follows A Meeting Saturday with Regional Business Leaders

Senator Arlen Specter, the Senior Senator from Pennsylvania, sent a letter to Federal Aviation Administrator Marion C. Blakey today urging a prompt review of proposals to reduce air traffic congestion at Philadelphia International Airport. Today's letter to Administrator Blakey follows a meeting Senator Specter held Saturday with regional business leaders regarding the issue.

"It is my understanding that Philadelphia International handles more takeoffs and landings than any of the New York area's three major airports, and is ranked near the bottom of all commercial airports in terms of on-time performance," Specter wrote in the letter. "Air traffic congestion in the region is causing an unacceptable level of delay at a time when commercial flight demand is reaching an all-time high at the airport, which I am advised served a Philadelphia record 31.5 million passengers last year."

It has been reported that the Philadelphia International Airport is the U.S.'s ninth busiest airport and has ranked last or nearly last for on time arrivals and departures in recent years. Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of selecting one of four proposals to reduce air traffic congestion to and from Philadelphia International, Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark and Teterboro airports.

Additionally, the letter states, "Accordingly, I urge your prompt review of the air traffic congestion situation at Philadelphia International to ensure that this redesign plan will meet the region's capacity needs. I would appreciate an update on the status of the current airspace redesign efforts as well as knowing the FAA's intentions for facilitating this redesign in a manner that will ensure Philadelphia's growing airspace capacity and on-time performance problems are adequately addressed."

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