Notice of Submission Deadline for Schedule Information for Chicago O'Hare International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport for the Winter 2020/2021 Scheduling Season, 30001-30004 [2020-10696]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration [Summary Notice No.–2020–34] Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Jet Linx Aviation, LLC Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice contains a summary of a petition seeking relief from specified requirements of Federal Aviation Regulations. The purpose of this notice is to improve the public’s awareness of, and participation in, the FAA’s exemption process. Neither publication of this notice nor the inclusion or omission of information in the summary is intended to affect the legal status of the petition or its final disposition. SUMMARY: Comments on this petition must identify the petition docket number and must be received on or before May 26, 2020. ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA–2020–0310 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M–30; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12–140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590– 0001, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at (202) 493–2251. Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/ privacy. Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Megan Blatchford, (202) 267–3896, Office of Rulemaking, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591. This notice is published pursuant to 14 CFR 11.85. Issued in Washington, DC, on May 13, 2020. Brandon Roberts, Acting Executive Director, Office of Rulemaking. Petition for Exemption Docket No.: FAA–2020–0310. Petitioner: Jet Linx Aviation, LLC. Section of 14 CFR Affected: §§ 135.337(b)(2) and (b)(6). Description of Relief Sought: Jet Linx Aviation, LLC (Jet Linx) seeks relief from §§ 135.337(b)(2) and (b)(6) of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations to allow Jet Linx to expand the authority of certain check pilots to conduct § 135.299 line checks when those check pilots have not complied with all the requirements to act as pilot in command of that aircraft in operations under part 135. Due to the COVID–19 virus, FAA inspectors are unable to provide line checks for the company. Jet Linx has insufficient line check pilots to fulfill their need. [FR Doc. 2020–10665 Filed 5–18–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Notice of Submission Deadline for Schedule Information for Chicago O’Hare International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport for the Winter 2020/2021 Scheduling Season Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation,. ACTION: Notice of submission deadline. AGENCY: Under this notice, the FAA announces the submission deadline of May 14, 2020, for Winter 2020/2021 flight schedules at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Los Angeles International Airport SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 30001 (LAX), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The deadline coincides with the schedule submission deadline for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Calendar of Coordination Activities for the Winter 2020/2021 scheduling season. DATES: Schedules must be submitted no later than May 14, 2020. ADDRESSES: Schedules may be submitted by mail to the Slot Administration Office, AGC–200, Office of the Chief Counsel, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; facsimile: 202–267–7277; or by email to: 7-AWA-slotadmin@faa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Al Meilus, Manager, Slot Administration, AJR–G, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267–2822; email Al.Meilus@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document provides routine notice to carriers serving capacity-constrained airports in the United States. General Information for All Airports The FAA has designated EWR, LAX, ORD, and SFO as IATA Level 2 airports 1 and JFK as an IATA Level 3 airport consistent with the Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG).2 The FAA currently limits scheduled operations at JFK by order that expires on October 24, 2020.3 The U.S. Winter 2020/2021 scheduling season is from October 25, 2020, through March 27, 2021, in recognition of the IATA northern winter scheduling period. Notwithstanding that carriers may presently face unusual uncertainty about their operations in light of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19), carriers should continue preparations for schedule facilitation at Level 2 airports and an extension of slot controls at JFK during the Winter 2020/ 2021 scheduling season, even if the effects of COVID–19 continue into the Winter 2020/2021 scheduling season.4 1 These designations remain effective until the FAA announces a change in the Federal Register. 2 The FAA applies the WSG to the extent there is no conflict with U.S. law or regulation. The FAA is reviewing recent substantive amendments to the WSG adopted in version 10 and considering whether to implement certain changes in the United States. 3 Operating Limitations at John F. Kennedy International Airport, 73 FR 3510 (Jan. 18, 2008), as most recently extended 83 FR 46865 (Sep. 17, 2018). The slot coordination parameters for JFK are set forth in this Order. 4 For additional information on COVID–19 impacts at designated IATA Level 2 and 3 airports in the United States and actions taken by the FAA E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM Continued 19MYN1 30002 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices Recognizing that there is presently uncertainty about the outlook for passenger demand in the Winter 2020/ 2021 season, advance planning consistent with the IATA Worldwide Slot Guidelines and the FAA’s usual process is expected to preserve stability during the COVID–19 crisis, which has caused unprecedented disruption to the aviation industry. The FAA is primarily concerned about scheduled and other regularly conducted commercial operations during peak hours, but carriers may submit schedule plans for the entire day. The peak hours for the Winter 2020/2021 scheduling season are: At EWR from 0600 to 2300 Eastern Time (1100 to 0400 UTC), at LAX and SFO from 0600 to 2300 Pacific Time (1400 to 0700 UTC), at ORD from 0600 to 2100 Central Time (1200 to 0300 UTC), and at JFK from 0600 to 2300 Eastern Time (1100 to 0400 UTC). These hours are unchanged from previous scheduling seasons. Carriers should submit schedule information in sufficient detail including, at minimum, the marketing or operating carrier, flight number, scheduled time of operation, frequency, aircraft equipment, and effective dates. IATA standard schedule information format and data elements for communications at Level 2 and Level 3 airports in the IATA Standard Schedules Information Manual (SSIM) Chapter 6 may be used. The IATA WSG provides additional information on schedule submissions at Level 2 and Level 3 airports. Some carriers at JFK manage and track slots through FAAassigned Slot ID numbers corresponding to an arrival or departure slot in a particular half-hour on a particular day and date. The FAA has recently initiated a similar voluntary process for tracking approved schedules at EWR with Reference IDs, and certain carriers are managing their approved schedules accordingly. These are primarily U.S. and Canadian carriers that have the highest frequencies and considerable schedule changes throughout the season and can benefit from a simplified exchange of information not dependent on full flight details. Carriers are encouraged to submit schedule requests at those airports using Slot or Reference IDs. As stated in the WSG, schedule facilitation at a Level 2 airport is based on the following: (1) Schedule adjustments are mutually agreed upon to preserve stability through the Summer 2020 scheduling season, see Notice of extension of limited waiver of the minimum slot usage requirement, 85 FR 21500 (Apr. 17, 2020). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 between the airlines and the facilitator; (2) the intent is to avoid exceeding the airport’s coordination parameters; (3) the concepts of historic precedence and series of slots do not apply at Level 2 airports; although WSG recommends giving priority to approved services that plan to operate unchanged from the previous equivalent season at Level 2 airports, and (4) the facilitator should adjust the smallest number of flights by the least amount of time necessary to avoid exceeding the airport’s coordination parameters. Consistent with the WSG, the success of Level 2 in the United States depends on the voluntary cooperation of all carriers. The FAA considers several factors and priorities as it reviews schedule and slot requests at Level 2 and Level 3 airports, which are consistent with the WSG, including—historic slots or services from the previous equivalent season over new demand for the same timings, services that are unchanged over services that plan to change time or other capacity relevant parameters, introduction of year-round services, effective period of operation, regularly planned operations over ad hoc operations, and other operational factors that may limit a carrier’s timing flexibility. In addition to applying these priorities from the WSG, the U.S. Government has adopted a number of measures and procedures to promote competition and new entry at U.S. slotcontrolled and schedule-facilitated airports. At Level 2 airports, the FAA seeks to maintain close communications with carriers and terminal schedule facilitators on potential runway schedule issues or terminal and gate issues that may affect the runway times. As explained in prior notices, the FAA also seeks to reduce the time that carriers consider proposed offers on schedules. To allow the FAA to make informed decisions at airports where operations in some hours are at or near the scheduling limits, the FAA expects to substantially complete the review process on initial submissions each scheduling season within 30 days of the end of the Slot Conference.5 After this time, the agency confirms the acceptance of proposed offers or issues a denial of schedule requests, as applicable. Slot management in the United States differs in some respect from procedures in other countries. In the United States, the FAA is responsible for facilitation 5 IATA has canceled the Winter 2020/2021 Slot Conference, which had been scheduled for June 16– 18, 2020; however, the FAA intends to substantially complete the review process on initial submissions in July 2020. PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and coordination of runway access for takeoffs and landings at Level 2 and Level 3 airports; however, the airport authority or its designee is responsible for facilitation and coordination of terminal/gate/airport facility access. The process with the individual airports for terminal access and other airport services is separate from, and in addition to, the FAA schedule review based on runway capacity. Approval from the FAA for runway availability and the airport authority for airport facility availability is necessary before implementing schedule plans. Carriers seeking terminal approval should contact the schedule facilitator for that airport. Generally, the FAA uses average hourly runway capacity throughput for airports and performance metrics in conducting its schedule review at Level 2 airports and determining the scheduling limits at Level 3 airports included in FAA rules or orders.6 The FAA also considers other factors that can affect operations, such as capacity changes due to runway, taxiway, or other airport construction, air traffic control procedural changes, airport surface operations, and historical or projected flight delays and congestion. Finally, the FAA notes that the schedule information submitted by carriers to the FAA may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The WSG also provides for release of information at certain stages of slot coordination and schedule facilitation. In general, once it acts on a schedule submission or slot request, the FAA may release information on slot allocation or similar slot transactions or schedule information reviewed as part of the schedule facilitation process. The FAA does not expect that practice to change and most slot and schedule information would not be exempt from release under FOIA. The FAA recognizes that some carriers may submit information on schedule plans that is both customarily and actually treated as private. Carriers that submit such confidential schedule information should clearly mark the information as ‘‘PROPIN’’. The FAA 6 The FAA typically determines an airport’s average adjusted runway capacity or typical throughput for Level 2 airports by reviewing hourly data on the arrival and departure rates that air traffic control indicates could be accepted for that hour, commonly known as ‘‘called’’ rates. The FAA also reviews the actual number of arrivals and departures that operated in the same hour. Generally, the FAA uses the higher of the two numbers, called or actual, for identifying trends and schedule review purposes. Some dates are excluded from analysis, such as during periods when extended airport closures or construction could affect capacity. E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices will take the necessary steps to protect properly designated information to the extent allowable by law. Airport-Specific Updates EWR Assessment Status As stated in prior notices, the FAA regularly monitors operations and performance metrics at EWR to identify ways to improve operational efficiency and achieve delay reductions in a Level 2 environment. Access to EWR and the New York City area generally remains coveted. Requests for flights at EWR have exceeded the scheduling limits in the early morning and for multiple hours in the afternoon and evening. The FAA has regularly advised carriers that it would not be able to accommodate requests for new or retimed operations into peak hours and worked with carriers to identify alternative times that were available. In some cases, carriers have been able to swap with other carriers for their preferred times. Carriers may continue to seek swaps in order to operate within periods in which operations are at the scheduling limits. However, swaps should be reported to the FAA, as carriers are expected to operate according to the FAA’s approved runway times. For the Winter 2020/2021 season, the hourly scheduling limit remains at 79 operations and 43 operations per halfhour.7 Based on historical demand and a pre-Coronavirus 2019 (COVID–19) public health emergency increase in operations in ‘‘shoulder’’ periods adjacent to the busiest hours, most hours are now at the scheduling limits. To help with a balance between arrivals and departures, the maximum number of scheduled arrivals or departures, respectively, is 43 in an hour and 24 in a half-hour. This would allow some higher levels of operations in certain periods (not to exceed the hourly limits) and some recovery from lower demand in adjacent periods. Consistent with past practice at EWR, the FAA will accept flights above the limits if the approved flights were operated by the same carrier on a regular basis in the previous corresponding season (i.e., Winter 2019/2020). The FAA notes there are periods when the demand in half-hours and consecutive half-hours exceeds the optimum runway capacity and the scheduling limits in this notice.8 The historical imbalance of scheduled 7 83 FR 21335 (May 1, 2018). the Level 2 designation effective with the winter 2016/2017 scheduling season, the FAA has rolled out reduced hourly scheduling limits from 81 per hour to 79 and applied additional halfhour and arrival and departure limits. 8 Following VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 arrivals and departures in certain periods has contributed to increased congestion and delays when the demand exceeds the arrival or departure rates. The FAA previously advised that retiming a minimal number of arrivals in the early afternoon hours, such as 1400, to the 1300 and 1200 hours could have significant delay reduction benefits, as early afternoon delays continue to impact operations into the evening hours. As part of the voluntary schedule facilitation process for the Winter 2019/2020 scheduling season, some carriers adjusted schedules to reduce demand in certain hours and help balance the mix of arrivals and departures in some periods. Consistent with the WSG, carriers should be prepared to adjust schedules to meet the scheduling limits in order to minimize potential congestion and delay. The FAA has consistently stated in prior seasonal schedule submission notices that new operations will not be approved unless the period is below the FAA scheduling limits.9 Consistent with this approach, the FAA will not be approving new flights for the Winter 2020/2021 scheduling season if operations are at or above the applicable scheduling limits. However, the FAA notes that there may be availability for ad hoc passenger and cargo operations due to temporary COVID–19-related service changes. Carriers are reminded that the FAA’s runway approval is separate from any other approvals that may be required by the airport terminal or other facilities prior to operating flights at the airport. As indicated in the EWR schedule submission notice for the Summer 2020 scheduling season, the FAA is assessing the impacts on performance of peak period reductions and other schedule changes, such as Southwest Airlines’ cessation of operations at EWR, as well as the impacts on competition, in close coordination with the Office of the Secretary of Transportation.10 This assessment is ongoing; the FAA intends to publish additional information on the 9 See e.g., Notice of Submission Deadline for the Winter 2019/2020 Scheduling Season, 84 FR 18630 at 18632 (May 1, 2019); Notice of Submission Deadline for the Summer 2019 Scheduling Season, 83 FR 49155at 49156–49157 (Sep. 28, 2018); and, Notice of Submission Deadline for the Winter 2018/ 2019 Scheduling Season, 83 FR 21335 at 21337– 21338 (May 9, 2018). 10 See Notice of Submission Deadline for Schedule Information for Newark Liberty International Airport for the Summer 2020 Scheduling Season, 84 FR 52580 at 52582. The FAA noted that Southwest announced it would discontinue all EWR flights effective November 2, 2019, and that requests for new flights by other carriers would be approved by FAA only to the extent the new operations did not exceed the scheduling limits. PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 30003 outcome of this assessment in the future. Because the sudden, drastic disruption caused by COVID–19 complicates the analysis, the FAA anticipates that additional time will be necessary to study all relevant long-term effects of recent operational, performance, and demand-related changes at EWR. Consistent with the EWR schedule submission notice for the Summer 2020 scheduling season, the FAA will not in Winter 2020/2021 be replacing or ‘‘backfilling’’ the peak morning and afternoon/evening operations that Southwest Airlines conducted during Winter 2018/2019 and Summer 2019, to the extent the new operations would exceed the current scheduling limits. New operations may be approved by the FAA, subject to terminal and gate availability, in hours in which operations are below the scheduling limits, including any offsets for periods above the limits, consistent with established FAA policy and procedures as described in seasonal notices and the WSG.11 In addition, the FAA is tracking unmet schedule requests at EWR for future consideration. The FAA will continue to follow the established schedule facilitation process at EWR consistent with the IATA WSG and as described in prior schedule submission notices.12 Additionally, there may be availability for ad hoc passenger and cargo operations due to temporary COVID–19-related service changes. Construction Updates The FAA is aware of preliminary plans by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) for a full runway closure of up to 180 days to reconstruct Runway 4R/22L at EWR. The FAA is closely monitoring the scope and timing of this project currently expected to start in spring 2021. The FAA plans to work with the PANYNJ and carriers to assess operational impacts and potential changes in delays and to develop mitigation strategies, as appropriate. Other ongoing construction includes the Terminal One redevelopment program with the demolition of the existing Terminal A complex and construction of a new Terminal One complex and South taxiways and ramp area. Ramp and taxiway congestion may be impacted at times due to the construction. In addition, construction projects are upcoming or underway at JFK, LAX and ORD. For additional information see https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/ 11 See 12 See E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM supra note 7. supra note 7. 19MYN1 30004 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices headquarters_offices/ato/service_units/ systemops/perf_analysis/sys_cap_eval/. The construction plans for each of the airports is subject to change. The airport operators regularly meet with the FAA, airlines, and other stakeholders to review construction plans, identify operational or other issues, and develop mitigation strategies. Carriers interested in additional information on construction plans should contact the airport operator to obtain further details or information on stakeholder discussions. Issued in Washington, DC, on May 12, 2020. Virginia Boyle, Deputy Vice President, System Operations Services. [FR Doc. 2020–10696 Filed 5–18–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Notice of Request To Release Airport Property Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of intent to rule on request to release airport property for land disposal at the Liberal MidAmerica Regional Airport (LBL), Liberal, Kansas. AGENCY: The FAA proposes to rule and invites public comment on the release of land at the Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport (LBL), Liberal, Kansas. DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 18, 2020. ADDRESSES: Comments on this application may be mailed or delivered to the FAA at the following address: Amy J. Walter, Airports Land Specialist, Federal Aviation Administration, Airports Division, ACE–620G, 901 Locust, Room 364, Kansas City, MO 64106. In addition, one copy of any comments submitted to the FAA must be mailed or delivered to: Lynn Koehn, The Koehn Law Firm, L.L.C., 217 N Washington, Liberal, KS 67901, (620) 624–8158. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy J. Walter, Airports Land Specialist, Federal Aviation Administration, Airports Division, ACE–620G, 901 Locust, Room 364, Kansas City, MO 64106, (816) 329–2603, amy.walter@ faa.gov. The request to release property may be reviewed, by appointment, in person at this same location. SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 The FAA invites public comment on the request to release approximately 2.02 acres of airport property at the Liberal MidAmerica Regional Airport (LBL) under the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 47107(h)(2). On March 6, 2020, the Airport Manager requested from the FAA that approximately 2.02 acres of property be released for sale to Liberal New Iron & Metal, LLC. On May 13, 2020, the FAA determined that the request to release property at Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport (LBL) submitted by the Sponsor meets the procedural requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration and the release of the property does not and will not impact future aviation needs at the airport. The FAA may approve the request, in whole or in part, no sooner than thirty days after the publication of this Notice. The following is a brief overview of the request: Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport (LBL) is proposing the release of a parcel of airport property, totaling 2.02 acres. The release of land is necessary to comply with Federal Aviation Administration Grant Assurances that do not allow federally acquired airport property to be used for non-aviation purposes. The sale of the subject property will result in the release of land and surface rights at the Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport (LBL) from the conditions of the AIP Grant Agreement Grant Assurances, but retaining the mineral rights. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 47107(c)(2)(B)(i) and (iii), the airport will receive fair market value and the property will continue to be used as an industrial park building site. Any person may inspect, by appointment, the request in person at the FAA office listed above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition, any person may, request an appointment and inspect the application, notice and other documents determined by the FAA to be related to the application in person at the Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Issued in Kansas City, MO, on May 13, 2020. James A. Johnson, Director, FAA Central Region, Airports Division. [FR Doc. 2020–10653 Filed 5–18–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration [Summary Notice No. FAA–2020–35] Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; National Air Transportation Association Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice contains a summary of a petition seeking relief from specified requirements of Federal Aviation Regulations. The purpose of this notice is to improve the public’s awareness of, and participation in, the FAA’s exemption process. Neither publication of this notice nor the inclusion or omission of information in the summary is intended to affect the legal status of the petition or its final disposition. SUMMARY: Comments on this petition must identify the petition docket number and must be received on or before May 26, 2020. ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA–FAA–2020– 0291 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M–30; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12–140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590– 0001, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at (202) 493–2251. Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/ privacy. Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. DATES: E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 97 (Tuesday, May 19, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30001-30004]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-10696]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration


Notice of Submission Deadline for Schedule Information for 
Chicago O'Hare International Airport, John F. Kennedy International 
Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty 
International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport for the 
Winter 2020/2021 Scheduling Season

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of 
Transportation,.

ACTION: Notice of submission deadline.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Under this notice, the FAA announces the submission deadline 
of May 14, 2020, for Winter 2020/2021 flight schedules at Chicago 
O'Hare International Airport (ORD), John F. Kennedy International 
Airport (JFK), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Newark Liberty 
International Airport (EWR), and San Francisco International Airport 
(SFO). The deadline coincides with the schedule submission deadline for 
the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Calendar of 
Coordination Activities for the Winter 2020/2021 scheduling season.

DATES: Schedules must be submitted no later than May 14, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Schedules may be submitted by mail to the Slot 
Administration Office, AGC-200, Office of the Chief Counsel, 800 
Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; facsimile: 202-267-7277; 
or by email to: [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Al Meilus, Manager, Slot 
Administration, AJR-G, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 
Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-2822; 
email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document provides routine notice to 
carriers serving capacity-constrained airports in the United States.

General Information for All Airports

    The FAA has designated EWR, LAX, ORD, and SFO as IATA Level 2 
airports \1\ and JFK as an IATA Level 3 airport consistent with the 
Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG).\2\ The FAA currently limits scheduled 
operations at JFK by order that expires on October 24, 2020.\3\ The 
U.S. Winter 2020/2021 scheduling season is from October 25, 2020, 
through March 27, 2021, in recognition of the IATA northern winter 
scheduling period. Notwithstanding that carriers may presently face 
unusual uncertainty about their operations in light of Coronavirus 
Disease 2019 (COVID-19), carriers should continue preparations for 
schedule facilitation at Level 2 airports and an extension of slot 
controls at JFK during the Winter 2020/2021 scheduling season, even if 
the effects of COVID-19 continue into the Winter 2020/2021 scheduling 
season.\4\

[[Page 30002]]

Recognizing that there is presently uncertainty about the outlook for 
passenger demand in the Winter 2020/2021 season, advance planning 
consistent with the IATA Worldwide Slot Guidelines and the FAA's usual 
process is expected to preserve stability during the COVID-19 crisis, 
which has caused unprecedented disruption to the aviation industry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ These designations remain effective until the FAA announces 
a change in the Federal Register.
    \2\ The FAA applies the WSG to the extent there is no conflict 
with U.S. law or regulation. The FAA is reviewing recent substantive 
amendments to the WSG adopted in version 10 and considering whether 
to implement certain changes in the United States.
    \3\ Operating Limitations at John F. Kennedy International 
Airport, 73 FR 3510 (Jan. 18, 2008), as most recently extended 83 FR 
46865 (Sep. 17, 2018). The slot coordination parameters for JFK are 
set forth in this Order.
    \4\ For additional information on COVID-19 impacts at designated 
IATA Level 2 and 3 airports in the United States and actions taken 
by the FAA to preserve stability through the Summer 2020 scheduling 
season, see Notice of extension of limited waiver of the minimum 
slot usage requirement, 85 FR 21500 (Apr. 17, 2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA is primarily concerned about scheduled and other regularly 
conducted commercial operations during peak hours, but carriers may 
submit schedule plans for the entire day. The peak hours for the Winter 
2020/2021 scheduling season are: At EWR from 0600 to 2300 Eastern Time 
(1100 to 0400 UTC), at LAX and SFO from 0600 to 2300 Pacific Time (1400 
to 0700 UTC), at ORD from 0600 to 2100 Central Time (1200 to 0300 UTC), 
and at JFK from 0600 to 2300 Eastern Time (1100 to 0400 UTC). These 
hours are unchanged from previous scheduling seasons.
    Carriers should submit schedule information in sufficient detail 
including, at minimum, the marketing or operating carrier, flight 
number, scheduled time of operation, frequency, aircraft equipment, and 
effective dates. IATA standard schedule information format and data 
elements for communications at Level 2 and Level 3 airports in the IATA 
Standard Schedules Information Manual (SSIM) Chapter 6 may be used. The 
IATA WSG provides additional information on schedule submissions at 
Level 2 and Level 3 airports. Some carriers at JFK manage and track 
slots through FAA-assigned Slot ID numbers corresponding to an arrival 
or departure slot in a particular half-hour on a particular day and 
date. The FAA has recently initiated a similar voluntary process for 
tracking approved schedules at EWR with Reference IDs, and certain 
carriers are managing their approved schedules accordingly. These are 
primarily U.S. and Canadian carriers that have the highest frequencies 
and considerable schedule changes throughout the season and can benefit 
from a simplified exchange of information not dependent on full flight 
details. Carriers are encouraged to submit schedule requests at those 
airports using Slot or Reference IDs.
    As stated in the WSG, schedule facilitation at a Level 2 airport is 
based on the following: (1) Schedule adjustments are mutually agreed 
upon between the airlines and the facilitator; (2) the intent is to 
avoid exceeding the airport's coordination parameters; (3) the concepts 
of historic precedence and series of slots do not apply at Level 2 
airports; although WSG recommends giving priority to approved services 
that plan to operate unchanged from the previous equivalent season at 
Level 2 airports, and (4) the facilitator should adjust the smallest 
number of flights by the least amount of time necessary to avoid 
exceeding the airport's coordination parameters. Consistent with the 
WSG, the success of Level 2 in the United States depends on the 
voluntary cooperation of all carriers.
    The FAA considers several factors and priorities as it reviews 
schedule and slot requests at Level 2 and Level 3 airports, which are 
consistent with the WSG, including--historic slots or services from the 
previous equivalent season over new demand for the same timings, 
services that are unchanged over services that plan to change time or 
other capacity relevant parameters, introduction of year-round 
services, effective period of operation, regularly planned operations 
over ad hoc operations, and other operational factors that may limit a 
carrier's timing flexibility. In addition to applying these priorities 
from the WSG, the U.S. Government has adopted a number of measures and 
procedures to promote competition and new entry at U.S. slot-controlled 
and schedule-facilitated airports.
    At Level 2 airports, the FAA seeks to maintain close communications 
with carriers and terminal schedule facilitators on potential runway 
schedule issues or terminal and gate issues that may affect the runway 
times. As explained in prior notices, the FAA also seeks to reduce the 
time that carriers consider proposed offers on schedules. To allow the 
FAA to make informed decisions at airports where operations in some 
hours are at or near the scheduling limits, the FAA expects to 
substantially complete the review process on initial submissions each 
scheduling season within 30 days of the end of the Slot Conference.\5\ 
After this time, the agency confirms the acceptance of proposed offers 
or issues a denial of schedule requests, as applicable.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ IATA has canceled the Winter 2020/2021 Slot Conference, 
which had been scheduled for June 16-18, 2020; however, the FAA 
intends to substantially complete the review process on initial 
submissions in July 2020.
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    Slot management in the United States differs in some respect from 
procedures in other countries. In the United States, the FAA is 
responsible for facilitation and coordination of runway access for 
takeoffs and landings at Level 2 and Level 3 airports; however, the 
airport authority or its designee is responsible for facilitation and 
coordination of terminal/gate/airport facility access. The process with 
the individual airports for terminal access and other airport services 
is separate from, and in addition to, the FAA schedule review based on 
runway capacity. Approval from the FAA for runway availability and the 
airport authority for airport facility availability is necessary before 
implementing schedule plans. Carriers seeking terminal approval should 
contact the schedule facilitator for that airport.
    Generally, the FAA uses average hourly runway capacity throughput 
for airports and performance metrics in conducting its schedule review 
at Level 2 airports and determining the scheduling limits at Level 3 
airports included in FAA rules or orders.\6\ The FAA also considers 
other factors that can affect operations, such as capacity changes due 
to runway, taxiway, or other airport construction, air traffic control 
procedural changes, airport surface operations, and historical or 
projected flight delays and congestion.
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    \6\ The FAA typically determines an airport's average adjusted 
runway capacity or typical throughput for Level 2 airports by 
reviewing hourly data on the arrival and departure rates that air 
traffic control indicates could be accepted for that hour, commonly 
known as ``called'' rates. The FAA also reviews the actual number of 
arrivals and departures that operated in the same hour. Generally, 
the FAA uses the higher of the two numbers, called or actual, for 
identifying trends and schedule review purposes. Some dates are 
excluded from analysis, such as during periods when extended airport 
closures or construction could affect capacity.
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    Finally, the FAA notes that the schedule information submitted by 
carriers to the FAA may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA). The WSG also provides for release of 
information at certain stages of slot coordination and schedule 
facilitation. In general, once it acts on a schedule submission or slot 
request, the FAA may release information on slot allocation or similar 
slot transactions or schedule information reviewed as part of the 
schedule facilitation process. The FAA does not expect that practice to 
change and most slot and schedule information would not be exempt from 
release under FOIA. The FAA recognizes that some carriers may submit 
information on schedule plans that is both customarily and actually 
treated as private. Carriers that submit such confidential schedule 
information should clearly mark the information as ``PROPIN''. The FAA

[[Page 30003]]

will take the necessary steps to protect properly designated 
information to the extent allowable by law.

Airport-Specific Updates

EWR Assessment Status

    As stated in prior notices, the FAA regularly monitors operations 
and performance metrics at EWR to identify ways to improve operational 
efficiency and achieve delay reductions in a Level 2 environment. 
Access to EWR and the New York City area generally remains coveted. 
Requests for flights at EWR have exceeded the scheduling limits in the 
early morning and for multiple hours in the afternoon and evening. The 
FAA has regularly advised carriers that it would not be able to 
accommodate requests for new or retimed operations into peak hours and 
worked with carriers to identify alternative times that were available. 
In some cases, carriers have been able to swap with other carriers for 
their preferred times. Carriers may continue to seek swaps in order to 
operate within periods in which operations are at the scheduling 
limits. However, swaps should be reported to the FAA, as carriers are 
expected to operate according to the FAA's approved runway times.
    For the Winter 2020/2021 season, the hourly scheduling limit 
remains at 79 operations and 43 operations per half-hour.\7\ Based on 
historical demand and a pre-Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) public health 
emergency increase in operations in ``shoulder'' periods adjacent to 
the busiest hours, most hours are now at the scheduling limits. To help 
with a balance between arrivals and departures, the maximum number of 
scheduled arrivals or departures, respectively, is 43 in an hour and 24 
in a half-hour. This would allow some higher levels of operations in 
certain periods (not to exceed the hourly limits) and some recovery 
from lower demand in adjacent periods. Consistent with past practice at 
EWR, the FAA will accept flights above the limits if the approved 
flights were operated by the same carrier on a regular basis in the 
previous corresponding season (i.e., Winter 2019/2020).
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    \7\ 83 FR 21335 (May 1, 2018).
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    The FAA notes there are periods when the demand in half-hours and 
consecutive half-hours exceeds the optimum runway capacity and the 
scheduling limits in this notice.\8\ The historical imbalance of 
scheduled arrivals and departures in certain periods has contributed to 
increased congestion and delays when the demand exceeds the arrival or 
departure rates. The FAA previously advised that retiming a minimal 
number of arrivals in the early afternoon hours, such as 1400, to the 
1300 and 1200 hours could have significant delay reduction benefits, as 
early afternoon delays continue to impact operations into the evening 
hours. As part of the voluntary schedule facilitation process for the 
Winter 2019/2020 scheduling season, some carriers adjusted schedules to 
reduce demand in certain hours and help balance the mix of arrivals and 
departures in some periods.
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    \8\ Following the Level 2 designation effective with the winter 
2016/2017 scheduling season, the FAA has rolled out reduced hourly 
scheduling limits from 81 per hour to 79 and applied additional 
half-hour and arrival and departure limits.
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    Consistent with the WSG, carriers should be prepared to adjust 
schedules to meet the scheduling limits in order to minimize potential 
congestion and delay. The FAA has consistently stated in prior seasonal 
schedule submission notices that new operations will not be approved 
unless the period is below the FAA scheduling limits.\9\ Consistent 
with this approach, the FAA will not be approving new flights for the 
Winter 2020/2021 scheduling season if operations are at or above the 
applicable scheduling limits. However, the FAA notes that there may be 
availability for ad hoc passenger and cargo operations due to temporary 
COVID-19-related service changes.
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    \9\ See e.g., Notice of Submission Deadline for the Winter 2019/
2020 Scheduling Season, 84 FR 18630 at 18632 (May 1, 2019); Notice 
of Submission Deadline for the Summer 2019 Scheduling Season, 83 FR 
49155at 49156-49157 (Sep. 28, 2018); and, Notice of Submission 
Deadline for the Winter 2018/2019 Scheduling Season, 83 FR 21335 at 
21337-21338 (May 9, 2018).
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    Carriers are reminded that the FAA's runway approval is separate 
from any other approvals that may be required by the airport terminal 
or other facilities prior to operating flights at the airport.
    As indicated in the EWR schedule submission notice for the Summer 
2020 scheduling season, the FAA is assessing the impacts on performance 
of peak period reductions and other schedule changes, such as Southwest 
Airlines' cessation of operations at EWR, as well as the impacts on 
competition, in close coordination with the Office of the Secretary of 
Transportation.\10\ This assessment is ongoing; the FAA intends to 
publish additional information on the outcome of this assessment in the 
future. Because the sudden, drastic disruption caused by COVID-19 
complicates the analysis, the FAA anticipates that additional time will 
be necessary to study all relevant long-term effects of recent 
operational, performance, and demand-related changes at EWR.
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    \10\ See Notice of Submission Deadline for Schedule Information 
for Newark Liberty International Airport for the Summer 2020 
Scheduling Season, 84 FR 52580 at 52582. The FAA noted that 
Southwest announced it would discontinue all EWR flights effective 
November 2, 2019, and that requests for new flights by other 
carriers would be approved by FAA only to the extent the new 
operations did not exceed the scheduling limits.
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    Consistent with the EWR schedule submission notice for the Summer 
2020 scheduling season, the FAA will not in Winter 2020/2021 be 
replacing or ``backfilling'' the peak morning and afternoon/evening 
operations that Southwest Airlines conducted during Winter 2018/2019 
and Summer 2019, to the extent the new operations would exceed the 
current scheduling limits. New operations may be approved by the FAA, 
subject to terminal and gate availability, in hours in which operations 
are below the scheduling limits, including any offsets for periods 
above the limits, consistent with established FAA policy and procedures 
as described in seasonal notices and the WSG.\11\ In addition, the FAA 
is tracking unmet schedule requests at EWR for future consideration. 
The FAA will continue to follow the established schedule facilitation 
process at EWR consistent with the IATA WSG and as described in prior 
schedule submission notices.\12\ Additionally, there may be 
availability for ad hoc passenger and cargo operations due to temporary 
COVID-19-related service changes.
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    \11\ See supra note 7.
    \12\ See supra note 7.
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Construction Updates

    The FAA is aware of preliminary plans by the Port Authority of New 
York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) for a full runway closure of up to 180 
days to reconstruct Runway 4R/22L at EWR. The FAA is closely monitoring 
the scope and timing of this project currently expected to start in 
spring 2021. The FAA plans to work with the PANYNJ and carriers to 
assess operational impacts and potential changes in delays and to 
develop mitigation strategies, as appropriate. Other ongoing 
construction includes the Terminal One redevelopment program with the 
demolition of the existing Terminal A complex and construction of a new 
Terminal One complex and South taxiways and ramp area. Ramp and taxiway 
congestion may be impacted at times due to the construction.
    In addition, construction projects are upcoming or underway at JFK, 
LAX and ORD. For additional information see https://www.faa.gov/about/
office_org/

[[Page 30004]]

headquarters_offices/ato/service_units/systemops/perf_analysis/
sys_cap_eval/. The construction plans for each of the airports is 
subject to change. The airport operators regularly meet with the FAA, 
airlines, and other stakeholders to review construction plans, identify 
operational or other issues, and develop mitigation strategies. 
Carriers interested in additional information on construction plans 
should contact the airport operator to obtain further details or 
information on stakeholder discussions.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 12, 2020.
Virginia Boyle,
Deputy Vice President, System Operations Services.
[FR Doc. 2020-10696 Filed 5-18-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P