What is a reliever airport and why do we have them?
Reliever airports are smaller airports that are designated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to relieve traffic and congestion at larger, commercial airports in major cities across the country. Reliever airports also offer a range of general aviation services to both commercial and private aircraft.
We’ve all experienced air traffic delays at congested commercial airports, like JFK in New York City, or LAX in Los Angeles. Whether your flight was delayed or cancelled, you were bumped and put on a different flight due to overcrowding, or you had to sit on the tarmac for hours without taking off, airport congestion can result in serious interruptions to your travel plans. This is why reliever airports are so important.
Why do we need reliever airports?
To relieve congestion, especially during peak travel months.
- Whether it’s a sunny summer vacation or a flight to see your family during the holidays, the summer and winter are peak travel months and the air traffic can quickly back up, causing delays.
- Major commercial airports can divert and redirect flights to nearby reliever airports, allowing their flight schedules to continue with minimal interruption.
To service both private and commercial aircraft locally.
- Reliever airports are smaller than big city airports, so if you’re flying private or chartering a jet, landing at a reliever airport is an ideal option.
- Many reliever airports can accommodate private aircraft and come equipped with a full range of amenities.
- Landing at a reliever airport is quick and convenient, and you’ll be at your destination in no time.
To use when things don’t go as planned.
- Despite how carefully you might plan, there are some things that are simply out of your control.
- When last-minute challenges pop up and a major commercial airport needs a quick solution, they often use reliever airports to help them keep operations running smoothly.
How a reliever airport works
The FAA has to officially designate an airport as a reliever airport, and after an airport has the designation, it can begin accepting flights from commercial airports nearby. For example, JFK and LaGuardia airports in New York City sometimes use reliever airports in New Jersey to handle flight overflow.
If you’re flying private, or chartering a private jet, reliever airports should be your first choice. You can often fly in on any day you want due to greater flexibility, and you can usually land very close to your ultimate destination.