Failures

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
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2007 @ 5:40pm

    Whose problem?

    Step back and think about this a little. Whose problem is it? I'd say one of the main groups suffering from the problem is the traveling public. Last I heard, in theory, the government is supposed to prevent or solve public problems. Yes, the airlines are feeling a bit of the pain, too, but I think the primary victims are the travelers.

    Unfortunately, the government hasn't had a very good track record on solving public problems for the past, oh, 200 years or more. So I'm not expecting a solution to this one, either, but in a more perfect world, they are the ones who should solve it (to the benefit of the traveling public), or at least take a lead in promoting a solution.

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