NBAA: FAA Plans Changes to Colorado Mountain Winter Holiday Procedures

Contacts: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360,

Washington, DC, June 11, 2013 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans changes to some traditional procedures for flights into three Colorado airports for the 2013-2014 holiday season.

Specifically, the FAA will discontinue use of a legacy air-traffic slot-reservation program for Aspen Colorado Airport (ASE), Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) and Garfield County “Rifle” (RIL) airports during the 2013-2014 holiday season’s November-through-January timeframe. In lieu of the air-traffic slot-reservation program, the FAA will manage the traffic volume with other traffic management initiative tools, including miles-in-trail and ground delay programs.

“Over the past decade, the FAA has introduced many new and more efficient methods of obtaining air traffic slot reservations, and vastly reduced the amount of time those systems were in use from months at a time, to a total of six days during last year’s holiday last season,” said Bob Lamond, NBAA director, air traffic services and infrastructure. “The decision to do away with air traffic slot reservations for next year is the logical next step in this progression, and one that NBAA strongly supports, because – among other benefits – the change should eliminate a concern held in some corners over whether equitable treatment was given to all operators in the issuance of air traffic slot reservations.”

The FAA and NBAA will embark on an education campaign over the next several months to educate operators about the change, emphasizing that the elimination of air traffic slot reservations will not create more capacity at any of the airports involved. A key focus of that educational initiative will be to emphasize that operators should expect similar ramp and air traffic capacity conditions at the three airports as they have experienced in previous holiday seasons. Also, as in past seasons, air traffic volume at the airports will still need to be managed by the FAA, and operators should be prepared for the possibility of delays on both arrival and departure, especially during the peak portion of the holiday season. Also, as airport parking areas reach capacity, the likelihood of ground stops will increase. Assuming all goes well this year, the FAA will consider continuing the no-air-traffic-slot initiative in the future.

The NBAA and FAA will jointly provide complete details on specifics for managing holiday season traffic at the three Colorado airports as plans are finalized in the coming months.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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