by Joseph Weisenthal

Filed Under:
aviation, faa

Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting For The FAA To Solve Nation's Air Transport Woes

from the the-sky-is-still-falling dept

The expanded use of private and smaller regional jets has been hard on the nation's air travel system, because these planes use up infrastructure at a level that's disproportionate to the number of passengers they carry. Of course, the problems we've seen all summer only heighten the appeal of private air travel, further exacerbating the problem. Making matters worse is the fact that the FAA has shown no inclination to find innovative solutions. As Lynne Kiesling points out, there are a number of creative solutions out there that could mitigate the problem, none of which are really being pursued. Airlines could be forced to bid on landing rights, for example, which would force companies to prioritize their routes in a positive manner. As it is, landing fees are based on weight, which doesn't account for the longer time small planes spend on the runways. It's also been argued that the GPS system could do a better job of monitoring traffic than the existing radar systems, but plans to go down this route have stalled due to politics. Ultimately, there's no reason to expect the FAA to be innovative. It doesn't face any market pressure and there's no risk of it going under if it doesn't adapt. Instead, the only solution pushed is to encourage airlines to stop using small planes, which isn't very creative at all. All that would do is reduce options for customers, particularly those on less-traveled routes.

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  1. identicon
    denny, 16 Aug 2007 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Time on runways.

    Coward is obviously not a pilot... Speed in the air does not equate to speed on the runway and taxiway... Jets land fast and have to spend significant time riding the brakes to get slowed down... They also taxi like elephants, slow and ponderous... The Piper Cub would have landed and pulled off into the grass and stopped long, long, before the jet...

    I will also use this post to discuss other topics brought up...
    General Aviation aircraft, like my 5 passenger airplane, do not need air traffic control to fly the public airspace (notice that it IS the public airspace not Jet Blue airspace, or UAL airspace, I repeat, it is public property just like the roads and highways you drive... Are you ready to concede that UPS or Greyhound owns the national highways and you should have to have their permission to use it? Are you ready to be declared a "morning commuter" who is clogging up the highway and needs to be taxed and regulated because you are slowing down the big corporate trucks and costing them money? Because that is the analogous situation to claiming that the airlines have the rights to the national airspace simply because someone is paying them a profit for the trip...)
    I flew yesterday from mid Michigan to South of Cleveland and back on family business... I did not file a flight plan (did you file a plan with the state police to drive to work?) with air traffic control... I did not need an air traffic controller to give me permission to land at the small airports I used (Did you need permission to pull into Starbucks?)
    I do not need runways that are hundreds of feet wide and three feet thick with reinforced concrete that can hold up a million pounds of airplane. (my airplane weighs 3100 pounds)
    I do not strip search my passengers as they are all known to me...
    I also do not use JFK, ORD, LAX, etc. etc. etc... I would be in the way of the big jets and they are dangerous to me... So,if your trip on one of the airlines is slowed down by other airplanes, it is other jets, cargo haulers, Airforce One, etc., not general aviation like me...

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