The FAA encourages airlines to fly over the water between NC and Florida | Tech US News

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RALEIGH, NC – Just before the busiest travel period of the year, the Department of Transportation is warning airlines: Equip your planes to make better use of the airspace over the water between North Carolina and Florida.

In a matter of weeks, airlines could see record travel and hope to avoid crises like the ones they saw over the summer.

WRAL News takes a look at the affected routes and what’s being done right now to help you avoid major delays.

Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg sent a letter to airline executives ahead of what is expected to be a winter travel season, writing: “The FAA has determined that the Atlantic overwater routes between North Carolina and Florida were underutilized last winter season, even during times of high congestion. because some planes were not equipped to use them.”

Planes flying over water must have extra equipment on board, such as extra life rafts, and the FAA has indicated that airlines can do better.

American Airlines chimed in, noting, ‚ÄúThis year, American passenger airlines increased staff above before-pandemic levels, and the FAA has increased recently ATC of the staff in that area by 10%. However, as the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) pointed out, more ATC staff is needed.”

Scott keys of Scott’s Cheap Flights keeps track of the deals and believes that demand for this travel season will likely be high.

“Planes are more full today than they were in August during peak summer travel,” he said. “Demand for travel and flights remains at a really, surprisingly high level. I think it’s higher than what the most optimistic projections from the airlines looked like.”

If you’re still planning a Thanksgiving or Christmas trip, take this advice from others who are one step ahead: just get there early and be prepared. Everything is possible.

The letter sent to airline executives was not a demand, but a gentle nudge. The FAA says these changes could improve reliability based on the expected high number of passengers.

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