June 12, 2007

Philly Road Warrior | For April, airport and airline delays blamed on weather

Last week started in a minor key, with release by the U.S. Department of Transportation of data for airline on-time performance in April at Philadelphia International Airport and elsewhere. It wasn't good, as anyone flying could have guessed.

But as the week went on, the skies brightened, with positive developments on a number of fronts that travelers care about. Of course, that was before the weather and FAA computer problems ganged up Friday to make a mess of flight operations at PHL and many other airports.

The reports on airline and airport delays for April (see the links posted on the blog early Tuesday) show a pattern that you can pick up if you read these things as often as we do. Remember how much rain we had in April? On-time performance nationwide slipped because of the weather. As usual, the New York airports and Chicago O'Hare were even worse than PHL.

But PHL was hit especially hard because of US Airways' ongoing struggle to fix its reservations system. Those problems also have caused on-time operations to suffer in March and April at Charlotte, US Airways' largest hub, which usually finishes far ahead of PHL in the rankings. US Airways says service got much better in May, with 80 percent on-time arrivals systemwide. We await the next federal report.

Another bit of good news: The world's airlines, represented by the International Air Transport Association, say they will do their part to cut carbon emissions that cause global warming. The head of the group promised it would work with governments and aircraft manufacturers to improve technology to reach a goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Those worried about the Federal Aviation Administration's airspace redesign plan for the Philadelphia and New York areas had reason to cheer, too. The FAA says it will hold another meeting to take public comment, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. June 27 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill.

Read more from the source at: www.philly.com

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