May 13, 2016

The FAA plans to ease slot restrictions at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), a change resulting from the agency’s re-designation of EWR as a Level 2, schedule-facilitated airport under the International Air Transport Association worldwide slot guidelines.

The FAA recently analyzed actual demand and capacity data, and determined EWR does not warrant its current, higher designation of Level 3, which imposes “operating authorizations” (slot) requirements and maximum peak-period scheduled capacity. The FAA reviewed the same data for the other major New York City airports – John F. Kennedy (JFK) and LaGuardia (LGA) – and determined that Level 3 slot-controlled restrictions remain necessary for those airfields.

Review the Federal Register notice on the designation change.

EWR, along with JFK and LGA, was included in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in early 2015 that proposed substantially reducing the number of unscheduled slot allocations at the three airports. The NPRM proposed reducing unscheduled operations at EWR to just one per hour.

“We appreciate the FAA’s action to review operational data and reevaluate the need for slots at Newark Liberty International Airport,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs. “However, the impact of the designation change on Newark’s unscheduled operations slots remains unclear.”

NBAA provided comments to the FAA on the proposed rule, citing concerns regarding business aviation’s access to the New York/New Jersey region, the potential negative affect on safety, and the economic impact on the airports’ FBOs.

“The NPRM could have a very negative impact on business aircraft operators that use EWR and JFK,” said Carr. “We are optimistic that this recent action – changing EWR’s designation to Level 2 – will enable greater accommodation of unscheduled operations at EWR and result in reconsideration of the proposed one-slot-per-hour limitation included in the NPRM.”

The order establishing EWR’s current slot limitations will expire Oct. 29, and the airport’s new designation will be effective Oct. 30. JFK and LGA’s orders will be extended until Oct. 27, 2018.