Taking the general aviation industry by surprise, the FAA
unilaterally limited GA operations at LaGuardia by reducing the number of unscheduled operations from six to three per hour, effective August 28, as part of its rulemaking to stem congestion at the New York airport. Currently in rulemaking and the subject of dispute between the FAA
and the general aviation community, the National Air Transportation Association
said the FAA imposed the restrictions by amending the existing LGA slot order while retaining all other slots at the airport. NATA charged the FAA reversed a position that held that six hourly slots did not pose a congestion problem, developed when the limits were originally set in conjunction with limiting scheduled airline slots.
“For some reason the FAA feels justified in reducing potential operations by 50 percent because the agency fears these six operations now will cause congestion even though the revised order provides no factual basis for that conclusion,” said NATA in protesting the move. “NATA is very disappointed with the FAA's actions regarding LGA, particularly since the issue of slots is already the subject of rulemaking.