Pilots needing ATC "slot" reservations for arrival at major sporting and other events will be able to make those reservations on the Web. AOPA has learned that the FAA will start allowing pilots to make their reservations over the Internet starting September 18. AOPA has been pressuring the FAA for more Web-based services.
"Slots"—officially called the Special Traffic Management Program—are reservations required for aircraft bound to or from special high traffic-volume events, such as major sporting events. Slots had previously been available only through a cumbersome 10-step telephone keypad entry process, or by using special computer communications software and a dial-up connection operating at absurdly slow rates of 300 to 9,600 baud.
"Nobody likes having to require slots," said AOPA Director of Airspace Management Melissa Bailey. "But at least it's much less awkward for pilots to use on the Web. We congratulate the FAA on taking our advice to use technology intelligently."
The first event allowing use of the Web-based slot reservation system will be the Formula One Grand Prix Race scheduled for Indianapolis, Indiana, September 22-25, 2000. The new system will also serve pilots planning flights to AOPA Expo 2000, October 20-22 in Long Beach, California.
A user's guide to the Web slot reservation system should be available by September 11 on the FAA's Web site.
AOPA is an active participant on the FAA's Internet Working Group. The association continues to urge the agency to make the Internet an approved source for weather, notams, and special-use airspace (military operations areas, restricted areas, etc.) activity.
The 360,000-member Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is the world's largest civil aviation organization. More than one half of the nation's pilots are AOPA members.
August 29, 2000