FAA - Federal Aviation Administration

05/17/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/17/2024 08:02

FAA Readies for Busiest Summer in Years

WASHINGTON - The FAA is ready to get passengers safely and efficiently to their destinations this summer as it prepares for the largest number of flights in years. 

"The FAA is working every day to make sure you get to your destination safely and on time, especially as more people than ever gear up to fly this summer," said FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker. "While we can't control the weather - which is the number one reason for delays - we plan for and work around convective conditions. And to improve safety and enhance efficient operations on the runway, we are installing innovative new surface surveillance technologies at airports around the nation."

By the numbers: We're expecting Memorial Day weekend to be the busiest since 2010, with 53,515 flights on the Thursday before and 50,129 on Friday. This bodes for a very busy summer, with June 30 forecast to be the busiest day with 53,785 flights.

Delays: Weather is by far the leading cause of delays, followed by flight volume and runway capacity constraints. We're taking extra steps this summer to mitigate these. 

What we're doing: The FAA's Command Center works closely with airlines, weather experts at each Air Traffic Center, and the National Weather Service to improve forecasts and to plan for, and around, expected bad weather.

We're using updated Severe Weather Avoidance Plans and new alternative Escape Routes(link is external) to get planes safely around convective weather and turbulence.

To alleviate expected heavy traffic in the Northeast and down the East Coast, we'll continue using more efficient, high-altitude routes. We also will work collaboratively with international air traffic control facilities to move overseas flights into the United States safely and efficiently. 

Commercial Space: The FAA is ensuring that the increase in commercial space operations does not cause delays.  New operators are joining the Space Data Integrator which helps us reduce airspace closure times for launches and reentries. 

On the ground: New surface safety technologies will improve runway safety and allow smoother operations at airports. And we're now using Integrated Departure/Arrival Capability (IDAC) at six South Florida airports to improve ground efficiency there. 

For travelers: We have extensive resources to help travelers plan ahead. The FAA X posts a daily Air Traffic Report and Weather Squad travel outlook video which highlight potential weather disruptions. 

Our summer travel page offers helpful information, including tracking airport status nationwide, tips on flying with children and how to pack safely. 

No bad behavior: And please remember, pack your patience and respect too. The FAA has a zero-tolerance policy toward unruly airline passengers.