Collaboration Key on New RNAV Procedure at LGA
Thursday, July 12, 2012
A new procedure implemented in May allows two major New York airports to operate more independently than they have in decades, considerably reducing the area’s delays.
LaGuardia (LGA) Airport’s Runway 13 departure configuration often limited John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport’s use of certain arrival and departure options. That limitation would force JFK, located less than a dozen miles south, into a less than optimal runway configuration.
The new Area Navigation (RNAV) standard instrument departure procedure at LGA prevents flights leaving LGA from conflicting with JFK arrivals and departures. During inclement weather, using the instrument landing system approach to runways 22L and 22R is now an option.
Procedural development and changes to airspace have led to what preliminary data show to be a significant reduction in delays by allowing JFK to utilize ILS Runway 22 and Runway 13/31 for arrival/departures.
The new procedure was developed through collaboration between NATCA and the FAA, as well as input from system users.
“Collaboration has brought the FAA to a new level towards modernization,” said Mike Stone, a controller in the LaGuardia area at New York TRACON (N90) and the NATCA lead for the collaborative workgroup that developed the new procedure. “The successes we’re seeing with the LaGuardia climb and the Kennedy airspace is directly attributable to that collaborative process.”
Both Stone and Steve McClain, a front line manager at New York TRACON and one of the management representatives on the team, agree that the changes would not have happened without collaboration.
“With the Union's cooperation with helping get it implemented, we were able to develop a better product that was very beneficial to the New York operation,” McClain said.
The FAA worked with The MITRE Corporation to compare delays associated with the use of the arrival configuration at Kennedy during a five-day period in September, before the new procedure was introduced, and a five-day period in February, after it was published.
In September, 204 aircraft encountered delays. In February, only 12 departed or arrived behind schedule, and those delays were due to multi-taxi, an issue that the new procedure doesn’t affect.
The average delay fell from 45.7 minutes to 25.3 minutes, and there were no reportable holding events when the procedure, known as the TNNIS climb, was in use.
Though the delay reduction is impressive, it’s not the only positive impact the new procedure will have on the region’s air traffic.
The TNNIS climb should also improve departure flows out of Kennedy and LaGuardia and improve approach performance for flights headed to both airports.