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 Northern Winter 2021/2022 Scheduling Season, 24428-24430 [2021-09535]

Download as PDF 24428 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 86 / Thursday, May 6, 2021 / Notices and Delegation of Authority No. 236–3 of August 28, 2000. (IATA) Calendar of Coordination Activities. Matthew R. Lussenhop, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. General Information for All Airports The FAA has designated EWR, LAX, ORD, and SFO as IATA Level 2 airports 1 subject to a schedule review process premised upon voluntary cooperation. The FAA has designated JFK as an IATA Level 3 airport consistent with the Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG), now generally known as the Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines (WASG).2 The FAA currently limits scheduled operations at JFK by order that expires on October 29, 2022.3 The Northern Winter 2021/2022 scheduling season is from October 31, 2021, through March 26, 2022, in recognition of the IATA winter scheduling period. Notwithstanding that carriers may presently face uncertainty about their operations in light of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19), carriers should plan and submit their schedules under the assumption that no further relief will be granted at Level 2 and Level 3 airports during the Winter 2021/2022 scheduling season.4 The FAA and the Office of the Secretary will continue to monitor industry developments closely and will announce any possible COVID–19related relief, if it is deemed necessary, in a separate notice. Any possible relief for the Winter 2021/2022 scheduling season and any possible action to alter the established rules and policies for slot management and schedule facilitation in the United States are not within the scope of this notice. The FAA does, however, understand the need for carriers to plan in advance with as much certainty as possible regarding the applicable regulatory and procedural framework. As the industry gradually recovers, new entrant and other carriers have commenced some [FR Doc. 2021–09543 Filed 5–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–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 Northern Winter 2021/2022 Scheduling Season Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ACTION: Notice of submission deadline. AGENCY: Under this notice, the FAA announces the submission deadline of May 13, 2021, for Winter 2021/2022 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). DATES: Schedules should be submitted by May 13, 2021. ADDRESSES: Schedules may be submitted to the Slot Administration Office by email to: 7-AWAslotadmin@ 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, including 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). In particular, this notice announces the deadline for carriers to submit schedules for the Northern Winter 2021/ 2022 scheduling season. The FAA deadline coincides with the schedule submission deadline established in the International Air Transport Association khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 May 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 1 These designations remain effective until the FAA announces a change in the Federal Register. 2 The FAA generally 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 edition 10. The FAA recognizes the WSG has been replaced by the WASG edition 1 effective June 1, 2020. While the FAA is considering whether to implement certain changes in the United States, it will continue to apply WSG edition 9. 3 Operating Limitations at John F. Kennedy International Airport, 73 FR 3510 (Jan. 18, 2008), as most recently extended 85 FR 58258 (Sep. 18, 2020). 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 2021 scheduling season, see FAA Policy Statement: Limited, Conditional Extension of COVID–19 Related Relief for the Summer 2021 Scheduling Season, Docket No. FAA–2020–0862 (Jan. 14, 2021). PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 operations using capacity that was not being operated by the carriers having historic precedence to that capacity under the waiver policy. The DOT/FAA seeks to facilitate all segments of the industry’s recovery from the pandemic and ensure that the transportation needs of the American people are efficiently met, especially during the economic recovery. Therefore, carriers should not assume further relief will be made available beyond the relief already provided to date through October 30, 2021. The FAA is primarily concerned about scheduled and other regularly conducted commercial operations during designated hours, but carriers may submit schedule plans for the entire day. The designated hours for the Winter 2021/2022 scheduling season are: at EWR and JFK from 0600 to 2300 Eastern Time (1000 to 0300 UTC), at LAX and SFO from 0600 to 2300 Pacific Time (1300 to 0600 UTC), and at ORD from 0600 to 2100 Central Time (1100 to 0200 UTC). These hours are unchanged from previous scheduling seasons. The FAA understands there may be differences in schedule times due to U.S. daylight saving time dates and will accommodate these differences to the extent possible. 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 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 of week and date. The FAA has a similar voluntary process for tracking schedules at EWR with Reference IDs, and certain carriers are managing their 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 E:\FR\FM\06MYN1.SGM 06MYN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 86 / Thursday, May 6, 2021 / Notices adjustments are mutually agreed upon between the carriers 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 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 desired scheduling limits, the FAA expects it will substantially complete the review process on initial submissions each scheduling season within 30 days of the end of the Slot Conference. After this time, the agency confirms the acceptance of proposed offers or informs carriers of available alternative times, 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 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 May 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 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. 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.5 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, or any relevant portions thereof, as proprietary information (‘‘PROPIN’’). The FAA will take the necessary steps to protect properly designated information to the extent allowable by law. Airport-Specific Updates EWR General Update As stated in prior notices, the FAA regularly monitors operations and performance metrics at EWR to identify 5 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. PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24429 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 desired scheduling limits in multiple hours. The FAA has regularly indicated that schedule adjustments are advised for requests for new or retimed operations into periods when demand is at or above scheduling limits 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 if the FAA is unable to offer the requested time. 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 consistent with the runway times on record with the FAA. For the Winter 2021/2022 season, the desired hourly scheduling limit remains at 79 operations and 43 operations per half-hour.6 Based on historical demand and an increase in operations in ‘‘shoulder’’ periods adjacent to the busiest hours before the COVID–19 pandemic, most hours are now at the desired scheduling limits. To help with a balance between arrivals and departures, the desired 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 flights were operated, or treated as operated, by the same carrier on a regular basis in the previous corresponding season (i.e., Winter 2020/ 2021). Certain flights were approved and operated on an ad hoc basis in Winter 2020/2021 as a result of temporary flight reductions and returns to FAA under the usage policy for that scheduling season. Similar flights, if requested for the Winter 2021/2022 scheduling season would be treated as new requests and reviewed in accordance with usual scheduling limits and policies. Consistent with the WSG, carriers are asked for their voluntary cooperation to adjust schedules to meet the scheduling limits in order to minimize potential congestion and delay. New operations will be offered alternative times unless the period is below the FAA’s desired 6 83 FR 21335 (May 1, 2018). E:\FR\FM\06MYN1.SGM 06MYN1 24430 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 86 / Thursday, May 6, 2021 / Notices scheduling limits.7 Consistent with this approach, the FAA intends to offer alternative times in response to any new flights for the Winter 2021/2022 scheduling season if operations are at or above the 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, but such availability will depend on the baseline level of planned operations with priority from the prior corresponding season. EWR Assessment Status As indicated most recently in the EWR schedule submission notice for the Summer 2021 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.8 This assessment is ongoing; the FAA intends to publish additional information on the outcome of this assessment in the future. The sudden, drastic disruption caused by COVID–19 9 affects the analysis and the relevant long-term effects of operational, performance, and demand-related changes at EWR. COVID–19 continues to impact operations at EWR in 2021. Pending further study, the FAA does not at this time invite 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 desired scheduling limits. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Construction Updates Construction projects are upcoming or underway at EWR, JFK, LAX, and ORD, 7 See e.g., Notice of Submission Deadline for the Summer 2021 Scheduling Season, 85 FR 65134 at 65136 (Oct. 14, 2020); Notice of Submission Deadline for the Winter 2020/2021 Scheduling Season, 85 FR 30001 at 30003 (May 19, 2020); Notices of Submission Deadline for Newark Liberty International Airport for the Summer 2020 Scheduling Season, 84 FR 52580 at 52581–52582 (Oct. 2, 2019); 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 49155 at 49156–49157 (Sep. 28, 2018); Notice of Submission Deadline for the Winter 2018/2019 Scheduling Season, 83 FR 21335 at 21337–21338 (May 9, 2018). 8 See Notice of Submission Deadline for Newark Liberty International Airport for the Summer 2021 Scheduling Season, 85 FR 65134. 9 For example, the FAA’s Operational Network (OPSNET) data shows total operations for April to September 2020 were 73.7% lower than the same period in 2019. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 May 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 and SFO. For additional information, see https://www.faa.gov/about/office_ org/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, carriers, 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 April, 30, 2021. Virginia T. Boyle, Vice President, System Operations Services. [FR Doc. 2021–09535 Filed 5–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Membership in the National Parks Overflights Advisory Group Federal Aviation Administration, (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Solicitation of applications. AGENCY: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Park Service (NPS) invite interested persons to apply to fill one current and one upcoming vacancy on the National Parks Overflights Advisory Group (NPOAG). This notice invites interested persons to apply for the openings. The current opening is for a representative of Native American tribes. The upcoming opening is for a representative of air tour operator concerns. DATES: Persons interested in these membership openings will need to apply by June 11, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Lusk, Special Programs Staff, Federal Aviation Administration, Western-Pacific Region Headquarters, 777 S Aviation Boulevard, Suite 150, El Segundo, CA 90245, telephone: (424) 405–7017, email: Keith.Lusk@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background The National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000 (the Act) was enacted on April 5, 2000, as Public Law 106–181, and subsequently amended in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. The Act required the establishment of the advisory group within one year after its enactment. The PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 NPOAG was established in March 2001. The advisory group is comprised of representatives of general aviation, commercial air tour operators, environmental concerns, and Native American tribes. The Administrator of the FAA and the Director of NPS (or their designees) serve as ex officio members of the group. Representatives of the Administrator and Director serve alternating 1-year terms as chairman of the advisory group. In accordance with the Act, the advisory group provides ‘‘advice, information, and recommendations to the Administrator and the Director— (1) On the implementation of this title [the Act] and the amendments made by this title; (2) On commonly accepted quiet aircraft technology for use in commercial air tour operations over a national park or tribal lands, which will receive preferential treatment in a given air tour management plan; (3) On other measures that might be taken to accommodate the interests of visitors to national parks; and (4) At the request of the Administrator and the Director, safety, environmental, and other issues related to commercial air tour operations over a national park or tribal lands.’’ Membership The current NPOAG is made up of one member representing general aviation, three members representing the commercial air tour industry, four members representing environmental concerns, and two members representing Native American tribes. Members serve three year terms. Current members of the NPOAG are as follows: Melissa Rudinger representing general aviation; Eric Lincoln, James Viola, and John Becker representing commercial air tour operators; Robert Randall, Dick Hingson, Les Blomberg, and John Eastman representing environmental interests; and Carl Slater representing Native American tribes, with one current opening. The three-year term of Mr. Lincoln expires on July 31, 2021. Selections In order to retain balance within the NPOAG, the FAA and NPS are seeking candidates interested in filling the one current vacant seat representing Native American tribes and the one upcoming seat representing commercial air tour operators. The FAA and NPS invite persons interested in these openings on the NPOAG to contact Mr. Keith Lusk (contact information is written above in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Requests to serve on the NPOAG must be made to Mr. Lusk in writing and E:\FR\FM\06MYN1.SGM 06MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 86 (Thursday, May 6, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24428-24430]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-09535]


=======================================================================
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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 
Northern Winter 2021/2022 Scheduling Season

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

ACTION: Notice of submission deadline.

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

SUMMARY: Under this notice, the FAA announces the submission deadline 
of May 13, 2021, for Winter 2021/2022 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).

DATES: Schedules should be submitted by May 13, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Schedules may be submitted to the Slot Administration Office 
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, 
including 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). In particular, this notice announces the 
deadline for carriers to submit schedules for the Northern Winter 2021/
2022 scheduling season. The FAA deadline coincides with the schedule 
submission deadline established in the International Air Transport 
Association (IATA) Calendar of Coordination Activities.

General Information for All Airports

    The FAA has designated EWR, LAX, ORD, and SFO as IATA Level 2 
airports \1\ subject to a schedule review process premised upon 
voluntary cooperation. The FAA has designated JFK as an IATA Level 3 
airport consistent with the Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG), now 
generally known as the Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines (WASG).\2\ The 
FAA currently limits scheduled operations at JFK by order that expires 
on October 29, 2022.\3\ The Northern Winter 2021/2022 scheduling season 
is from October 31, 2021, through March 26, 2022, in recognition of the 
IATA winter scheduling period. Notwithstanding that carriers may 
presently face uncertainty about their operations in light of 
coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), carriers should plan and submit 
their schedules under the assumption that no further relief will be 
granted at Level 2 and Level 3 airports during the Winter 2021/2022 
scheduling season.\4\ The FAA and the Office of the Secretary will 
continue to monitor industry developments closely and will announce any 
possible COVID-19-related relief, if it is deemed necessary, in a 
separate notice. Any possible relief for the Winter 2021/2022 
scheduling season and any possible action to alter the established 
rules and policies for slot management and schedule facilitation in the 
United States are not within the scope of this notice. The FAA does, 
however, understand the need for carriers to plan in advance with as 
much certainty as possible regarding the applicable regulatory and 
procedural framework. As the industry gradually recovers, new entrant 
and other carriers have commenced some operations using capacity that 
was not being operated by the carriers having historic precedence to 
that capacity under the waiver policy. The DOT/FAA seeks to facilitate 
all segments of the industry's recovery from the pandemic and ensure 
that the transportation needs of the American people are efficiently 
met, especially during the economic recovery. Therefore, carriers 
should not assume further relief will be made available beyond the 
relief already provided to date through October 30, 2021.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ These designations remain effective until the FAA announces 
a change in the Federal Register.
    \2\ The FAA generally 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 edition 10. The FAA 
recognizes the WSG has been replaced by the WASG edition 1 effective 
June 1, 2020. While the FAA is considering whether to implement 
certain changes in the United States, it will continue to apply WSG 
edition 9.
    \3\ Operating Limitations at John F. Kennedy International 
Airport, 73 FR 3510 (Jan. 18, 2008), as most recently extended 85 FR 
58258 (Sep. 18, 2020). 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 2021 scheduling 
season, see FAA Policy Statement: Limited, Conditional Extension of 
COVID-19 Related Relief for the Summer 2021 Scheduling Season, 
Docket No. FAA-2020-0862 (Jan. 14, 2021).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA is primarily concerned about scheduled and other regularly 
conducted commercial operations during designated hours, but carriers 
may submit schedule plans for the entire day. The designated hours for 
the Winter 2021/2022 scheduling season are: at EWR and JFK from 0600 to 
2300 Eastern Time (1000 to 0300 UTC), at LAX and SFO from 0600 to 2300 
Pacific Time (1300 to 0600 UTC), and at ORD from 0600 to 2100 Central 
Time (1100 to 0200 UTC). These hours are unchanged from previous 
scheduling seasons. The FAA understands there may be differences in 
schedule times due to U.S. daylight saving time dates and will 
accommodate these differences to the extent possible.
    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 
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 of week 
and date. The FAA has a similar voluntary process for tracking 
schedules at EWR with Reference IDs, and certain carriers are managing 
their 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

[[Page 24429]]

adjustments are mutually agreed upon between the carriers 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 
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 desired scheduling limits, the FAA expects it 
will substantially complete the review process on initial submissions 
each scheduling season within 30 days of the end of the Slot 
Conference. After this time, the agency confirms the acceptance of 
proposed offers or informs carriers of available alternative times, 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 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.
    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.\5\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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, or any relevant 
portions thereof, as proprietary information (``PROPIN''). The FAA will 
take the necessary steps to protect properly designated information to 
the extent allowable by law.

Airport-Specific Updates

EWR General Update

    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 desired scheduling limits 
in multiple hours. The FAA has regularly indicated that schedule 
adjustments are advised for requests for new or retimed operations into 
periods when demand is at or above scheduling limits 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 if the FAA is unable to offer the requested time. 
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 consistent 
with the runway times on record with the FAA.
    For the Winter 2021/2022 season, the desired hourly scheduling 
limit remains at 79 operations and 43 operations per half-hour.\6\ 
Based on historical demand and an increase in operations in 
``shoulder'' periods adjacent to the busiest hours before the COVID-19 
pandemic, most hours are now at the desired scheduling limits. To help 
with a balance between arrivals and departures, the desired 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 flights were operated, or treated as operated, by the same carrier 
on a regular basis in the previous corresponding season (i.e., Winter 
2020/2021). Certain flights were approved and operated on an ad hoc 
basis in Winter 2020/2021 as a result of temporary flight reductions 
and returns to FAA under the usage policy for that scheduling season. 
Similar flights, if requested for the Winter 2021/2022 scheduling 
season would be treated as new requests and reviewed in accordance with 
usual scheduling limits and policies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ 83 FR 21335 (May 1, 2018).
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    Consistent with the WSG, carriers are asked for their voluntary 
cooperation to adjust schedules to meet the scheduling limits in order 
to minimize potential congestion and delay. New operations will be 
offered alternative times unless the period is below the FAA's desired

[[Page 24430]]

scheduling limits.\7\ Consistent with this approach, the FAA intends to 
offer alternative times in response to any new flights for the Winter 
2021/2022 scheduling season if operations are at or above the 
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, but such availability will depend on 
the baseline level of planned operations with priority from the prior 
corresponding season.
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    \7\ See e.g., Notice of Submission Deadline for the Summer 2021 
Scheduling Season, 85 FR 65134 at 65136 (Oct. 14, 2020); Notice of 
Submission Deadline for the Winter 2020/2021 Scheduling Season, 85 
FR 30001 at 30003 (May 19, 2020); Notices of Submission Deadline for 
Newark Liberty International Airport for the Summer 2020 Scheduling 
Season, 84 FR 52580 at 52581-52582 (Oct. 2, 2019); 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 49155 at 49156-49157 (Sep. 
28, 2018); Notice of Submission Deadline for the Winter 2018/2019 
Scheduling Season, 83 FR 21335 at 21337-21338 (May 9, 2018).
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EWR Assessment Status

    As indicated most recently in the EWR schedule submission notice 
for the Summer 2021 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.\8\ This assessment is ongoing; the FAA 
intends to publish additional information on the outcome of this 
assessment in the future. The sudden, drastic disruption caused by 
COVID-19 \9\ affects the analysis and the relevant long-term effects of 
operational, performance, and demand-related changes at EWR. COVID-19 
continues to impact operations at EWR in 2021. Pending further study, 
the FAA does not at this time invite 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 desired scheduling limits.
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    \8\ See Notice of Submission Deadline for Newark Liberty 
International Airport for the Summer 2021 Scheduling Season, 85 FR 
65134.
    \9\ For example, the FAA's Operational Network (OPSNET) data 
shows total operations for April to September 2020 were 73.7% lower 
than the same period in 2019.
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Construction Updates

    Construction projects are upcoming or underway at EWR, JFK, LAX, 
and ORD, and SFO. For additional information, see https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/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, carriers, 
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 April, 30, 2021.
Virginia T. Boyle,
Vice President, System Operations Services.
[FR Doc. 2021-09535 Filed 5-5-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P