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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Could Limit JFK Flights Next Summer to Ease Traffic

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government has taken the first step toward possibly limiting flights as early as next summer at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, one of the busiest and one of the most congested airports.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has taken the rare step of asking major carriers for their JFK scheduling information for next spring and summer, according to a regulatory notice.

A similar request also was sent to airlines at New Jersey's Newark International Airport, another location hit hard by delays this year.

Airlines must respond to both requests by Oct. 11.

The FAA only reviews schedule information this far in advance at a handful of airports nationally, and only controls flight operations at two, New York's LaGuardia and Chicago's O'Hare.

"We want to determine if there will be periods where scheduling exceeds capacity," FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said.

The scheduling request, Brown said, does not mean that the agency has decided to limit flight operations.

But the FAA said in its notice to airlines, "This could result in operational limits during peak hours."

JetBlue Airways is based at JFK and Delta Air Lines operates two terminals there. In a statement, JetBlue said it supported FAA efforts aimed at "getting ahead of congestion" and encouraged the agency to convene a meeting of airlines to discuss scheduling.

American Airlines operates international and some domestic service at Kennedy. United Airlines has significantly reduced its presence at JFK.

The International Air Transport Association, which represents international carriers, said the status quo of delays was unacceptable, adding that airlines waste fuel and emit more emissions if arrival and departure times are extended.