Newark air traffic controller Edward Kragh, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s representative to the FAA’s New York Visual Flight Rules Airspace Task Force that examined the airspace above the Hudson River after the Aug. 8 mid-air collision, told the Senate Aviation Subcommittee yesterday that NATCA supports the task force’s recommendations of changes to training, procedures and airspace structure because they would make this busy corridor safer.
But Kragh cautioned the FAA to be mindful of infrastructure improvements needed to support these changes.
Addressing elected officials’ call for full FAA control of the airspace around Manhattan, which would require all aircraft flying in this region to be under the direction of air traffic controllers, Kragh said: “NATCA and the task force both recognize that this drastic change would require significant resources because present infrastructure is insufficient to handle the changes and there are not enough controllers to handle the increased workload that would result. The geography of the area – with densely-packed skyscrapers – prevents effective radar and radio coverage.”
Kragh’s full written testimony can be found here.