If you are thinking about flying into O’Hare airport as a Part 91 or Part 135 unscheduled flight, in the near future you may need to make a reservation in advance in order to land. The FAA today published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register for a “Proposed Reservation System for Unscheduled Arrivals at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport”. (A copy of the NPRM is also available here). Under the proposed reservation system, the FAA would limit unscheduled arrivals to four per hour between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Central Time beginning November 1, 2004, and continuing through April 30, 2005.
This action comes in the wake of the agreement reached between the airlines operating at O’Hare and the FAA to reduce the number of arrivals in an attempt to eliminate the delays that were resulting from the airlines “persistent over scheduling of flights at the airport”. Since non-scheduled operators were not parties to the negotiations and agreement between the airlines and the FAA, the FAA has issued the proposed reservations system to “ensure that the demand for such operations is spread reasonably throughout the day and allow the FAA to achieve the overall established operational target for scheduled and unscheduled arrival flights.”
The arrival slot reservations would be allocated in half-hour increments with no more than two arrival reservations in a half-hour period available for unscheduled arrivals. The FAA’s Airport Reservation Office (ARO) would receive and process all reservations requests and reservations would be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, determined by the time the request is received by the ARO (1) via the Internet; (2) by calling the ARO’s interactive computer system via touch-tone telephone; or (3) by calling the ARO directly. Once a reservation has been allocated, an aircraft operator will still need to file a flight plan and obtain ATC clearance.
Comments may be submitted [identified by Docket Number FAA-2004-19411] using any of the following methods: (1) electronically at the DOT Docket Web site or at the Government-wide Rulemaking Web site (2) via U.S. Mail addressed to: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-001; (3) via Fax: 1-202-493-2251; or (4) Hand delivered Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.