[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 62 (Friday, March 30, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19076-19077]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7742]



Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 93

[Docket No. FAA-2011-1024]

High Density Traffic Airports; Notice of Determination Regarding 
Low Demand Periods at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

AGENCY: Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration 

ACTION: Notice of agency determination.


SUMMARY: This action announces an FAA determination that 10 p.m. to 
10:59 p.m. no longer is a low demand period at Ronald Reagan Washington 
National Airport (DCA). As a result of this

[[Page 19077]]

determination, the FAA will allocate available slots in that period on 
a temporary basis subject to recall, and the FAA may conduct a lottery 
in the future to allocate available slots in that period.

DATES: Effective March 30, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Hawks, Office of the Chief 
Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20591; telephone number: 202-267-7143; fax number: 202-
267-7971; email: rob.hawks@faa.gov.



    The FAA issued the High Density Traffic Airports Rule (HDR), 14 CFR 
part 93 subpart K, in 1968 to reduce delays at five congested airports: 
John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, O'Hare 
International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), 
and Newark Liberty International Airport.\1\ Currently, the HDR applies 
only to DCA. The regulation limits the number of operations during 
certain hours of the day and requires a slot, which the FAA allocates 
for a specific 60-minute period, for each scheduled operation.

    \1\ 33 FR 17896 (Dec. 3, 1968).

    In 1985, the FAA issued part 93 subpart S (the ``Buy/Sell 
Rule'').\2\ As part of the Buy/Sell Rule, Sec.  93.226 permits the 
administrative allocation of slots during low demand periods, which are 
6 a.m. to 6:59 a.m. (the 0600 hour) and 10 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. (the 2200 
and 2300 hours), on a first come, first served basis. Section 93.226(d) 
permits the FAA to determine those periods are no longer low demand 
periods and allocate any available slots by lottery under Sec.  93.225. 
The FAA may make this determination when it becomes apparent that 
demand for slots is increasing to the point where a first come, first 
served allocation procedure is inappropriate. The FAA previously 
determined the 0600 hour is not a low demand period.\3\

    \2\ 50 FR 52195 (Dec. 20, 1985).
    \3\ 76 FR 58393 (Sept. 21, 2011).

FAA Determination

    Currently, the FAA has allocated all but three commuter and all but 
three air carrier slots in the 2200 hour.
    Because of the relatively small number of available slots in the 
2200 hour, the FAA now determines that hour no longer is a low demand 
period. Additional permanent allocation of slots in that time period 
would undermine the new entrant and limited incumbent allocation 
priority under Sec.  93.225. The FAA no longer will allocate slots 
during that time period on a permanent first come, first served basis.
    The FAA further determines the present demand for available slots 
does not justify conducting a lottery at this time. Accordingly, the 
FAA will allocate slots in the 2200 hour on a temporary basis subject 
to recall by the FAA under Sec.  93.226(e). However, if the FAA cannot 
accommodate future requests for slots, especially requests by new 
entrants or limited incumbents, through temporary allocations, the FAA 
may recall any temporarily allocated slots and conduct a lottery at 
that time.
    Slots currently allocated are unaffected by this determination, and 
the HDR continues to apply to all allocated slots.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 27, 2012.
Rebecca B. MacPherson,
Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations.
[FR Doc. 2012-7742 Filed 3-29-12; 8:45 am]