Photo: JFK

MIAMI – To help airlines cope with the COVID-19 fallout, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is temporarily waiving the 80% slot-use requirement at major U.S. airports through May 31, 2020.

Under normal conditions, airlines can lose their slots at congested airports if they don’t use them at least 80% of the time.

The 80% slot-use rule waiver for US and foreign airlines comes with the agency’s expectation that U.S. carriers will be “accommodated with reciprocal relief by foreign authorities at airports in their countries,” according to FAA’s press release.

The FAA adds that it may “determine not to grant a waiver to a foreign carrier whose home jurisdiction does not reciprocate.”

The agency will remain alert of the Coronavirus’s effect on travel demand, adjusting this waiver as circumstances warrant and informing airlines of any decision to extend the waiver period in a timely manner.

DOT-FAA Headquarters. Photo: Matthew Bisanz.

US airports included in the waiver

The waiver, which the FAA is publishing in the Federal Register, applies to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). 

Additionally, the measure will be implemented in four other U.S. airports where the agency has a formal schedule review and approval process —Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

When the time comes for the FAA to conduct future schedule developments, the agency will give credit to those airlines whose flights were canceled due to the Coronavirus through May 31, 2020, considering these as being operated.