[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 101 (Wednesday, May 25, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33126-33128]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-12220]



Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR part 93

[Docket No.: FAA-2006-25755]

Operating Limitations at New York Laguardia Airport

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Extension to order.


SUMMARY: This action extends the Order Limiting Operations at New York 
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) published on December 27, 2006, and most 
recently extended March 27, 2014. The Order remains effective until 
October 27, 2018.

DATES: This action is effective on May 25, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Requests may be submitted by mail to Slot Administration 
Office, AGC-240, Office of the Chief Counsel, 800 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by email to: [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions concerning this Order 
contact: Susan Pfingstler, System Operations Services, Air Traffic 
Organization, Federal Aviation Administration, 600 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-6462; email 
[email protected].


Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    You may obtain an electronic copy using the Internet by:
    (1) Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);
    (2) Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/; or
    (3) Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.
    You also may obtain a copy by sending a request to the Federal 
Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Make 
sure to identify the amendment number or docket number of this 


    The FAA has long limited the number of arrivals and departures at 
LGA during peak demand periods through the implementation of the High 
Density Rule (HDR), to address constraints based on LGA's limited 
runway capacity.\1\ By statute enacted in April 2000, the HDR's 
applicability to LGA operations terminated as of January 1, 2007.\2\

    \1\ 33 FR 17896 (Dec. 3, 1968). The FAA codified the rules for 
operating at high density traffic airports in 14 CFR part 93, 
subpart K. The HDR required carriers to hold a reservation, which 
came to be known as a ``slot,'' for each takeoff or landing under 
instrument flight rules at the high density traffic airports.
    \2\ Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century 
(AIR-21), Public Law 106-181 (Apr. 5, 2000), 49 U.S.C. 41715(a)(2).

    In anticipation of the HDR's expiration, the FAA proposed a long-
term rule that would limit the number of scheduled and unscheduled 
operations at LGA.\3\ The FAA issued an Order on December 27, 2006, 
adopting temporary limits pending the completion of the rulemaking.\4\ 
This Order was amended on November 8, 2007, and August 19, 2008.\5\ On 
October 10, 2008, the FAA published the Congestion Management Rule for 
LaGuardia Airport, which would have become effective on December 9, 
2008.\6\ That rule was stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 
District of Columbia Circuit and subsequently rescinded by the FAA.\7\ 
The FAA extended the December 27, 2006, Order placing temporary limits 
on operations at LGA, as amended, on October 7, 2009,\8\ on April 4, 
2011,\9\ on May 14, 2013,\10\ and on March 27, 2014.\11\

    \3\ 71 FR 51360 (August 29, 2006); Docket FAA-2006-25709. The 
FAA subsequently published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking. 73 FR 20846 (Apr. 17, 2008).
    \4\ 71 FR 77854.
    \5\ 72 FR 63224; 73 FR 48428.
    \6\ 73 FR 60574, amended by 73 FR 66517 (Nov. 10, 2008).
    \7\ 74 FR 52132 (Oct. 9, 2009).
    \8\ 74 FR 51653.
    \9\ 76 FR 18616, amended by 77 FR 30585 (May 23, 2012).
    \10\ 78 FR 28278.
    \11\ 79 FR 17222.

    Under the Order, as amended, the FAA (1) maintains the current 
hourly limits on scheduled and unscheduled operations at LGA during the 
peak period; (2) imposes an 80 percent minimum usage requirement for 
Operating Authorizations (OAs) with defined exceptions; (3) provides a 
mechanism for withdrawal of OAs for FAA operational reasons; (4) 
provides for a lottery to reallocate withdrawn, surrendered, or 
unallocated OAs; and (5) allows for trades and leases of OAs for 
consideration for the duration of the Order.
    The reasons for issuing the Order have not changed appreciably 
since it was implemented. Runway capacity at LGA remains limited, while 
demand for access to LGA remains high and average weekday hourly 
flights are generally scheduled to a level consistent with the limits 
under this Order. The FAA has reviewed the on-time and other 
performance metrics in the peak May to August 2014 and 2015 months and 
found continuing improvements relative to the same period in 2007.\12\ 
Without the operational limitations imposed by this Order, the FAA 
expects severe congestion-related delays would occur at LGA and at 
other airports throughout the National Airspace System (NAS). The FAA 
will continue to monitor performance and runway capacity at LGA to 
determine if changes are warranted.

    \12\ Docket No. FAA-2006-25755 includes a copy of the MITRE 
analysis completed for the FAA.


[[Page 33127]]

    On January 8, 2015, the DOT and FAA published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking ``Slot Management and Transparency at LaGuardia Airport, 
John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International 
Airport.'' \13\ The DOT and FAA proposed to replace the Orders limiting 
scheduled operations at JFK, limiting scheduled operations at Newark 
Liberty International Airport (EWR), and limiting scheduled and 
unscheduled operations at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) with a more permanent 
system for managing slots. The NPRM included certain proposed changes 
to how slots are currently managed in the New York City area in order 
to increase transparency and address issues considering anti-
competitive behavior.

    \13\ 80 FR 1274.

    Since the FAA and DOT first initiated this rulemaking effort there 
have been significant changes in circumstances affecting New York City 
area airports, including changes in competitive effects from ongoing 
industry consolidation, slot utilization and transfer behavior, and 
actual operational performance at the three airports. Furthermore, the 
FAA recently announced that slot controls are no longer needed at EWR 
(81 FR 19861). In light of the changes in market conditions and 
operational performance at the New York City area airports, the 
Department is withdrawing the NPRM by Federal Register notice published 
May 16, 2016 (81 FR 30218), to allow for further evaluation of these 
    Accordingly, the FAA has concluded it is necessary to extend the 
expiration date of this Order until October 27, 2018. This expiration 
date coincides with the extended expiration date for the Order limiting 
scheduled operations at JFK, as also extended by action published in 
today's Federal Register.\14\ No amendments other than the expiration 
date have been made to this Order.

    \14\ The FAA notes that the Order limiting scheduled operations 
at EWR will expire October 29, 2016; beginning on October 30, 2016, 
EWR is designated a Level 2 schedule-facilitated airport consistent 
with the FAA's action published in the Federal Register on April 6, 
2016. See id.

    The FAA finds that notice and comment procedures under 5 U.S.C. 
553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The FAA 
further finds that good cause exists to make this Order effective in 
less than 30 days.

The Amended Order

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Order, as amended, is 
recited below in its entirety:

A. Scheduled Operations

    With respect to scheduled operations at LaGuardia:
    1. The final Order governs scheduled arrivals and departures at 
LaGuardia from 6 a.m. through 9:59 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through 
Friday and from 12 noon through 9:59 p.m., Eastern Time, Sunday. 
Seventy-one (71) Operating Authorizations are available per hour and 
will be assigned by the FAA on a 30-minute basis. The FAA will permit 
additional, existing operations above this threshold; however, the FAA 
will retire Operating Authorizations that are surrendered to the FAA, 
withdrawn for non-use, or unassigned during each affected hour until 
the number of Operating Authorizations in that hour reaches seventy-one 
    2. The final Order takes effect on January 1, 2007, and will expire 
on October 27, 2018.
    3. The FAA will assign operating authority to conduct an arrival or 
a departure at LaGuardia during the affected hours to the air carrier 
that holds equivalent slot or slot exemption authority under the High 
Density Rule of FAA slot exemption rules as of January 1, 2007; to the 
primary marketing air carrier in the case of AIR-21 small hub/nonhub 
airport slot exemptions; or to the air carrier operating the flights as 
of January 1, 2007, in the case of a slot held by a non carrier. The 
FAA will not assign operating authority under the final Order to any 
person or entity other than a certificated U.S. or foreign air carrier 
with appropriate economic authority under 14 CFR part 121, 129 or 135. 
The Chief Counsel of the FAA will be the final decision maker regarding 
the initial assignment of Operating Authorizations.
    4. For administrative tracking purposes only, the FAA will assign 
an identification number to each Operating Authorization.
    5. An air carrier may lease or trade an Operating Authorization to 
another carrier for any consideration, not to exceed the duration of 
the Order. Notice of a trade or lease under this paragraph must be 
submitted in writing to the FAA Slot Administration Office, facsimile 
(202) 267-7277 or email [email protected], and must come from a 
designated representative of each carrier. The FAA must confirm and 
approve these transactions in writing prior to the effective date of 
the transaction. However, the FAA will approve transfers between 
carriers under the same marketing control up to 5 business days after 
the actual operation. This post-transfer approval is limited to 
accommodate operational disruptions that occur on the same day of the 
scheduled operation.
    6. Each air carrier holding an Operating Authorization must forward 
in writing to the FAA Slot Administration Office a list of all 
Operating Authorizations held by the carrier along with a listing of 
the Operating Authorizations actually operated for each day of the two-
month reporting period within 14 days after the last day of the two-
month reporting period beginning January 1 and every two months 
thereafter. Any Operating Authorization not used at least 80 percent of 
the time over a two-month period will be withdrawn by the FAA except:
    A. The FAA will treat as used any Operating Authorization held by 
an air carrier on Thanksgiving Day, the Friday following Thanksgiving 
Day, and the period from December 24 through the first Saturday in 
    B. The FAA will treat as used any Operating Authorization obtained 
by an air carrier through a lottery under paragraph 7 for the first 120 
days after allocation in the lottery.
    C. The Administrator of the FAA may waive the 80 percent usage 
requirement in the event of a highly unusual and unpredictable 
condition which is beyond the control of the air carrier and which 
affects carrier operations for a period of five consecutive days or 
    7. In the event that Operating Authorizations are withdrawn for 
nonuse, surrendered to the FAA or are unassigned, the FAA will 
determine whether any of the available Operating Authorizations should 
be reallocated. If so, the FAA will conduct a lottery using the 
provisions specified under 14 CFR 93.225. The FAA may retime an 
Operating Authorization prior to reallocation in order to address 
operational needs. When the final Order expires, any Operating 
Authorizations reassigned under this paragraph, except those assigned 
to new entrants or limited incumbents, will revert to the FAA for 
reallocation according to the reallocation mechanism prescribed in the 
final rule that succeeds the final Order.
    8. If the FAA determines that a reduction in the number of 
allocated Operating Authorizations is required to meet operational 
needs, such as reduced airport capacity, the FAA will conduct a 
weighted lottery to withdraw Operating Authorizations to meet a reduced 
hourly or half-hourly limit for scheduled operations. The FAA will 
provide at least 45 days' notice unless otherwise required by 

[[Page 33128]]

needs. Any Operating Authorization that is withdrawn or temporarily 
suspended will, if reallocated, be reallocated to the air carrier from 
which it was taken, provided that the air carrier continues to operate 
scheduled service at LaGuardia.
    9. The FAA will enforce the final Order through an enforcement 
action seeking a civil penalty under 49 U.S.C. 46301(a). An air carrier 
that is not a small business as defined in the Small Business Act, 15 
U.S.C. 632, would be liable for a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for 
every day that it violates the limits set forth in the final Order. An 
air carrier that is a small business as defined in the Small Business 
Act would be liable for a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for every day 
that it violates the limits set forth in the final Order. The FAA also 
could file a civil action in U.S. District Court, under 49 U.S.C. 
46106, 46107, seeking to enjoin any air carrier from violating the 
terms of the final Order.

B. Unscheduled Operations: \15\

    \15\ Unscheduled operations are operations other than those 
regularly conducted by an air carrier between LaGuardia and another 
service point. Unscheduled operations include general aviation, 
public aircraft, military, charter, ferry, and positioning flights. 
Helicopter operations are excluded from the reservation requirement. 
Reservations for unscheduled flights operating under visual flight 
rules (VFR) are granted when the aircraft receives clearance from 
air traffic control to land or depart LaGuardia. Reservations for 
unscheduled VFR flights are not included in the limits for 
unscheduled operators.

    With respect to unscheduled flight operations at LaGuardia, the FAA 
adopts the following:
    1. The final order applies to all operators of unscheduled flights, 
except helicopter operations, at LaGuardia from 6 a.m. through 9:59 
p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday and from 12 noon through 9:59 
p.m., Eastern Time, Sunday.
    2. The final Order takes effect on January 1, 2007, and will expire 
on October 27, 2018.
    3. No person can operate an aircraft other than a helicopter to or 
from LaGuardia unless the operator has received, for that unscheduled 
operation, a reservation that is assigned by the David J. Hurley Air 
Traffic Control System Command Center's Airport Reservation Office 
(ARO). Additional information on procedures for obtaining a reservation 
will be available via the Internet at http://www.fly.faa.gov/ecvrs.
    4. Three (3) reservations are available per hour for unscheduled 
operations at LaGuardia. The ARO will assign reservations on a 30-
minute basis.
    5. The ARO receives and processes all reservation requests. 
Reservations are assigned on a ``first-come, first-served'' basis, 
determined as of the time that the ARO receives the request. A 
cancellation of any reservation that will not be used as assigned would 
be required.
    6. Filing a request for a reservation does not constitute the 
filing of an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, as separately 
required by regulation. After the reservation is obtained, an IFR 
flight plan can be filed. The IFR flight plan must include the 
reservation number in the ``remarks'' section.
    7. Air Traffic Control will accommodate declared emergencies 
without regard to reservations. Nonemergency flights in direct support 
of national security, law enforcement, military aircraft operations, or 
public use aircraft operations will be accommodated above the 
reservation limits with the prior approval of the Vice President, 
System Operations Services, Air Traffic Organization. Procedures for 
obtaining the appropriate reservation for such flights are available 
via the Internet at http://www.fly.faa.gov/ecvrs.
    8. Notwithstanding the limits in paragraph 4, if the Air Traffic 
Organization determines that air traffic control, weather, and capacity 
conditions are favorable and significant delay is not likely, the FAA 
can accommodate additional reservations over a specific period. Unused 
operating authorizations can also be temporarily made available for 
unscheduled operations. Reservations for additional operations are 
obtained through the ARO.
    9. Reservations cannot be bought, sold, or leased.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 18, 2016.
Daniel E. Smiley,
Vice President, System Operations Services.
[FR Doc. 2016-12220 Filed 5-24-16; 8:45 am]