ORLANDO, Florida – Travel is booming and the Federal Aviation Administration is trying to reduce flight disruptions.
Next month he will meet with airlines to discuss how to keep traffic in the skies over Florida.
The FAA said there were several reasons for the delays in the Sunshine State. One of the main concerns: flights have exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
In Orlando, the FAA said service had increased by 100%. More people are flying to and from Florida, contributing to increased congestion in the already busy airspace, federal officials said.
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The FAA said there was also a higher number of operations in nearby military airspace, more frequent thunderstorm activity across the peninsula and an “accelerated cadence of space launches”.
The agency expects the number of launches from Cape Canaveral to double this year.
During launches and landings, the FAA has declared that a no-fly zone is activated. It can extend for miles around the launch depending on the rocket type and location.
“There can be a wide variation not just in what airspace is closed but also for how long,” said Janet Tinoco, a professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.
University researchers are modeling data from different launches to see the impact.
“Depending on the time of day and where airspace has been closed, you can see peaks and troughs in air traffic operations,” said Carlos Castro, director of operations, Center for Aerospace Resilience and assistant professor.
Castro said airlines either stay grounded or start dictating alternate routes.
“Obviously it will increase fuel burn time, not to mention the impact on the customer in this case,” Castro said.
Their studies show that it costs consumers time and money. The impact may vary.
“There are different levels of impact when it comes to airlines,” Tinoco said. “From $12,000 to, you know, cumulative impacts, to zero dollars.”
You can read the full statement the FAA provided to News 6 below:
In early May, the FAA will host a two-day meeting with airlines to discuss ways to increase the efficiency of the existing airspace structure. Over the past few months, a number of factors have contributed to increased congestion in an already busy airspace. These include a higher number of operations in nearby military airspace, more frequent thunderstorm activity across the peninsula, as well as an increased cadence of space launches. At the same time, the number of flights scheduled for Florida’s busiest airports has rebounded well above pre-pandemic levels. The combination of these factors leaves little room for the system to absorb flight delays, especially during peak periods of travel demand, such as weekends and holidays.
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