Saturday, February 10, 2007

We’re Number One !

Ahhhhh...that’s more like it. I’d gathered this data long ago for NATCA’s ex-president (John Carr) to use in his blog: The Main Bang. Alas, John has decided to take The Main Bang down for now. I can only hope he will bless us with his online presence again one day. He’s an extraordinary individual with a multitude of talents.

I gathered this data for the same purpose that I’m using it now. Most of America doesn’t have any idea how important General Aviation is to the United States. If you take the time to click on the link below, you’ll see that out of the 14, 857 airports in the U.S., only 5,119 of them are paved. That means that the U.S. has 9,738 unpaved runways. That’s more unpaved runways than the G8 and China (and a couple of other countries with privatized ATC systems thrown in) have runways -- combined.

(Just in case you wondered how I picked all those countries.)

Take a look.

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Number of Airports

United States of America 14,857

Russia 2,586

Canada 1,326

Germany 550

France 478

China 472

United Kingdom 471

Australia 448

Japan 174

Italy 134

New Zealand 116

Switzerland 65
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Total for Them -- 6,820
Total for Us -- 14,857


Source: CIA World Factbook

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When the privateers want to tell you how well Canada’s partly-privatized system runs -- take a look at the numbers.

United States of America 14,857 vs. Canada 1,326

When those that bow to Margaret Thatcher’s legacy want to point out how well the United Kingdom’s privatized system works -- take a look at the numbers.

United States of America 14,857 vs. United Kingdom 471

As I hope my previous post on the Human Development Index showed, I’m not above noticing (and calling attention to) the fact that someone might have a better way than we in the United States. But I’m certainly not above calling attention to the fact that we in the United States actually do have a better way -- when we actually do.

And lest it escape your notice, the National Airspace System of the United States of America was built with massive funds provided by the United States citizens and administered by the United States Government. The Bush Administration and the Free Marketeers would have you believe that they can do it better. Tell them no -- they can’t.

Don Brown
February 10, 2007

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