That strategy "will do nothing more than reduce service to small communities, reduce job growth and raise fares for commercial passengers," Zane Rowe, senior vice president of network strategy at Continental Airlines, told the Senate subcommittee on aviation operations, safety and security.
New York's LaGuardia International Airport used a congestion pricing model in the 1960s that FAA officials say worked well.
The airline industry's on-time performance in the first seven months of 2007 was its worst since comparable data began being collected in 1995, according to government data. In July, the most recent month for which data are available, 20 carriers reported an on-time arrival rate of 69.8 percent, down from 73.7 percent a year earlier.
John F. Kennedy International Airport has enough capacity normally for 44 departures between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., but commercial airlines regularly schedule 57 departures, said Brown, a former associate administrator for air traffic services at the FAA.