FAA, NATCA Spar Over Runway Procedures

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By March 20, air traffic facilities that want to continue to use taxi-into-position-and-hold (TIPH) need to notify the FAA, spokeswoman Laura Brown told AVweb on Tuesday. They don't have to eliminate the procedure. "They can keep using it," she said. But they will have to conduct a safety analysis to show it can be used safely, and also show that there is a safety or capacity reason to justify its use. "They should stop using it if they don't need to," she said. "But if they want to keep using it, they need to make the case for why to use it." The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), reacting to an FAA notice that went out last week, says eliminating TIPH would decrease safety, increase delays, and lower capacity. The policy will allow larger airports to get waivers and continue the procedure, while "hundreds of innocent other smaller airports" will have to abandon its use, NATCA President John Carr wrote in his blog yesterday. "This was a poorly thought out decision on the FAA's part. They are bowing to NTSB pressure because of a few high profile incidents," he wrote.