The Federal Aviation Administration says that weather is the leading cause of flight delays. But last summer, most delays were man-made, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. From June to August last year, 8 percent of delays were caused by airlines and about 5 percent were attributed to issues with the national aviation system, which includes air traffic control problems. Less than 1 percent of the delays were weather-related, B.T.S. data shows.
The F.A.A. has recently taken steps to pre-empt potential chaos this summer. It is allowing airlines, including Delta, United and American, to operate fewer flights and instead use larger aircraft that can accommodate more passengers.
The change will help “mitigate the risk of encountering delays and cancellations,” said Michael McCormick, an assistant professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a former F.A.A. control tower operator.
The agency has also announced 169 new routes along the East Coast that it
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