Airspace over New York to be redesigned to reduce delays

The airspace above New York, the most congested in the US, will be redesigned so that airline delays come down by 20 per cent before 2011, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said.

The new plan will benefit travellers at Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, as well as New York's LaGuardia and Kennedy airports, the nation's three most congested airports.

The move is part of a plan to make air travel more efficient at the eastern USA's busiest airports spread over five states. It comes after a decade of FAA research aimed at increasing on-time arrivals and minimising noise by redesigning the airspace over New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut and eastern Pennsylvania.

The three New York-area airports lead the nation in delayed airline flights this year, says the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The plan will reduce a combined 12 million minutes of delay per year from these three, as well as Philadelphia airport. It is also expected to cut fuel and other operating costs. Parts of the plan will be implemented within coming months, the FAA has announced.