Government Trying To Streamline Holiday Travel - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Washington, D.C. 11/15/07

Government Trying To Streamline Holiday Travel

Thanksgiving holiday travelers could find themselves in the express lane -- even if they're in the air.

It's one of the actions being ordered by President Bush to try to reduce air traffic congestion and long air travel delays in advance of the holiday travel crunch.

The Pentagon is going to be opening up some unused military airspace between Florida and Maine, to create a "Thanksgiving express lane" for commercial airliners. It'll be open from Wednesday through Sunday of next week, for the busiest days of Thanksgiving travel.

Bush says the delays that air travelers have been facing "carry some real costs for the country" -- by obstructing business, and causing people to miss family gatherings.

The new plan will also be in effect for the Christmas travel season. Officials say the Federal Aviation Administration will be taking other steps to increase efficiency -- such as rerouting airspace, and using more precise routes for takeoffs and landings.

And there will be a holiday moratorium on non-essential maintenance projects, so all FAA personnel and equipment can be focused on keeping flights on time.

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