US DOT officials said Friday they have finalized a draft of the proposed Air Transportation System (ATS) and have begun discussions with state, local and federal agencies about the next steps.
“We’re excited to have the final draft in place,” said US DOT Administrator Robert Murray, adding that he hopes to announce a final rule this spring.
“The DOT is confident the final rule will help the country and the people of Washington, D.C. move forward as quickly as possible.”
In a video statement on the DOT’s website, the agency said the draft “includes many of the ideas that have been in the public domain for years, such as improving the speed and reliability of the air traffic control system and creating a seamless, integrated system that enables us to continue to improve air quality and safety for all of Washington.”
The draft is the result of the agency’s years-long process to address the challenges of managing air traffic in Washington, including air traffic congestion, air pollution, traffic disruptions, and climate change.
The agency said it would provide more information about the draft to state and local governments at a public meeting on Friday.
The DOT released the draft in January and released a copy of it to the public on Thursday.
Murray said the agency has already taken steps to address some of the concerns expressed in the draft, including making the first two airway rules permanent, and developing more efficient air traffic controls.
The FAA has also approved the creation of a pilot program for commercial airlines to use the ATS to service Washington’s largest airports, but the pilot program will not be available until 2020.
The final rule is expected to be published in April 2019.
The draft includes: A “one-stop shop” for air traffic management by allowing commercial airlines and air travel companies to connect to the ATU using a single, shared network.
The system will be used for all major airports, including Seattle’s Boeing Field.
The new network will have the capacity to handle more than 1.2 million passengers per hour.
The ATU will be a single “virtual” network for the public that allows for private, nonprofit organizations and individuals to use it to connect with the air.
It will have no public access, which means that private companies will not have access to the system.
The airlines and their partners will be able to provide information to the airlines via a public access system.
A new “virtual route” system for private commercial flights.
The airline and its partner will have access from the same public access points for connecting to the new system, including a virtual route for flights from Seattle to Portland.
A single public-private flight link that will allow for flights on either side of the Puget Sound and the entire length of the state.
The route will be at least two hours long and would run parallel to the proposed Seattle-to-Portland route.
This would allow flights to depart the airport at the same time, instead of being routed in different directions on the same day.
A “virtual routing” option for flights between Seattle and Portland, including using the new Seattle-Portland network.
This option would allow for a single flight from Seattle-Seattle to Portland at the end of a round trip, instead a flight from Portland to Seattle on the first day of service.
The routes would be similar to those in the Seattle-Olympia route.
The “virtual link” option will be available for flights within Seattle and between Portland and Seattle.
In addition, the new routing option will allow flights between Portland, Washington and Seattle, but not to Seattle, for example.
A separate, private-sector-owned, joint-use, single-stop-shop-for-airport-airway network.
Instead of a single public access point, the DOT will lease the airway network to private commercial airlines.
The network will be open to any company that is able to use an existing public access or virtual route.
A network for non-commercial passenger travel between Portland to Washington.
The service will operate as a joint-used public-owned service between the private companies and the public.
The commercial operators will be allowed to operate flights from the public access network.
A public-access service that connects to the existing Seattle-Tacoma route, but does not connect to any of the existing private routes.
The public-use route will run parallel with the proposed Portland-Seattle route, except that it will not connect directly to the Boeing Field terminal.
This route would allow non-stop service between Portland in Washington and the Seattle airport.
It would also allow nonstop service from Seattle.
A private-public service between Seattle-Bellevue and Seattle that will not operate from the existing public-accessible routes.
This service will be operated as a private-private service.
This will be in addition to the private-shared-route service that the public and private companies currently have.
A common-use service connecting Portland with the Pugetside, but