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turism&travel : Virgin America's CEO: JFK "metering scheme" will be extended through the summer

Friday 25 June 2010

A scheme to limit runway delays at New York's John F.
Kennedy International Airport will be extended through the summer, according to the head of Virgin America Inc.

The so-called "metering scheme" was introduced earlier this year to mitigate potential delays during the closure for repair of one of the airport runways but was set to expire June 30.

The plan allows aircraft to wait at the gate until closer to their actual takeoff time, rather than that of their allocated slot, in the event of delays from weather or congestion.

David Cush, Virgin America's chief executive, praised the measure and said the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey had told airlines that it planned to extend the project for another 90 days after reopening the runway.

Metering requires extra staffing. Cush said that the Port Authority planned to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before any further extension but that he hoped the practice could be applied at other U.S. airports.

Legislation was introduced earlier this year following a number of high-profile tarmac delays that would levy stiff fines on airlines leaving passengers parked in aircraft for more than three hours. Cush said Virgin America had so far canceled one flight to avoid a potential fine.

"They are actually working OK," Cush said of the delay rules.

Virgin America has suffered its own high-profile passenger "stranding," and Cush said the legislation had forced airlines to make sure they have "adequate 24/7 oversight," since the worst delays have occurred late at night or on weekends.

Autor: eTurboNews