The FAA is offering a fix for Snarled Florida Air Travel this summer Business news

Federal officials have promised to add air traffic controllers and take other measures to improve the flow of aircraft in Florida, which airlines say has become a weak link in national airspace.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday it would add staff to a key air traffic control center in Jacksonville and other locations, though it did not provide numbers.

The promise came at a two-day meeting between FAA officials and representatives of about a dozen airlines. Airlines have told the FAA that the number of flights to Florida will exceed 2019 levels.

Air traffic to Florida boosted faster during the pandemic than many elsewhere, and airlines are planning even more flights this summer. This raises concerns about the potential for major disruptions that could extend far beyond national borders.

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The FAA said it also agreed to inform airlines more frequently about space launches and other events that could obstruct the routes used by airlines over Florida. The airlines say they were covered unchanged due to the closure of the routes, which forced them to cancel flights.

Most importantly, Southwest Airlines is to blame for bad weather and air traffic control in Florida for the cascading problems that caused it to cancel more than 2,000 flights in three days last October. JetBlue Airways blamed these and other factors for the extended cancellations last month.

The FAA has said it will make more use of alternative routes – sometimes at lower altitudes, which would increase fuel consumption – to keep planes after traffic disruptions. The agency said it will also develop a grumbling response plan, similar to what it is doing in the New York area.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.

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