Letter to the editor
You created a misimpression that the Federal Aviation Administration's user
request evaluation tool is "late" ["Data determining Free Flight future," FCW.com, Oct. 2].
The General Accounting Office report that spurred the article alluded
to the placement of the tool toward the tail end of the overall Free Flight
Phase 1 schedule. The deployment of the user request evaluation tool comes
late in the Free Flight Phase 1 time frame (1998-2002), but it is on time.
It's important to note that the tool itself, the locations and the timeframe
were selected by an industry group that included controllers and pilots.
The article also overlooked the impressive results already being racked
up by the user request evaluation tool. It already is in use in Indianapolis
and Memphis, Tenn., air space. Direct routes there are up 40 percent. The
tool is saving airlines in that air space more than $1.5 million per month.
The tool has enabled a considerable reduction in airspace restrictions as
Director, FAA Free Flight