Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater called airline CEOs, union representatives, air traffic controllers, and airport and FAA officials to a "summit meeting" this week to find ways to reduce airline delays. Two weeks earlier, FAA officials had come to AOPA headquarters to discuss their plans to deal with the seven so-called "choke points" in the air traffic control system. "What was most important about the summit meeting was the recognition that general aviation is not part of the problem," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Most general aviation aircraft don't use the major hub airports, and 90 percent of the piston-engine aircraft flights are flown VFR outside of the air traffic control system." AOPA worked with the FAA to ensure that changes to the ATC system do not penalize general aviation. In fact, the FAA's changes to procedures for the New York area may help improve GA access to the outlying airports.
August 23, 2000