Friday, November 16, 2007

Air Traffic for Dummies



It’s unbelievable. President Bush announces he’s going to open up some military airspace -- over the ocean -- to cure airport delays and the Press just passes it on. Google News lists 993 stories covering it so far. And as far as I can tell, not one of them seriously questioned the premise.

The Associated Press did manage to work in the real problem -- at the bottom of the page.

'Express Lanes' to Ease Air Congestion

”Bush acknowledged these short-term steps "do not cure the underlying problem: In certain parts of our country, the demand for air service exceeds the available supply. As a result, airlines are scheduling more arrivals and departures than airports can possibly handle."

(Emphasis added)

If you can’t figure out how adding two “express lanes” into the mall parking lot on the day after Thanksgiving is going to help you find a (nonexistent) parking space...you aren’t the only one. I guess knowing you are in the “express lane” will somehow make the wait seem better than if you were waiting in the regular lane.

Oh well. I guess I should be used to all this by now. Just so my non-controller readers will know...

The military airspace referred to -- according to the controllers that work it -- has always been opened to civilian traffic during the holidays. If there is a thunderstorm (not likely in late November) over the land routes the airspace will come in handy. Otherwise, the only thing it will be good for is extra holding patterns.

There’s one other thought I want to leave you with. Go to your favorite media source and see how they covered the story. As you’re reading, scan for one word -- the most important word -- Safety. I bet you don’t find it. I haven’t.

Don Brown
November 16, 2007

1 comment:

Airmen Hall said...

I'm sorry I don't really have anything to say about the ocean airport I was hoping that you could give me some advice though. I am 17 I just joined the air force and i want to be an air traffic controller i was wondering if you knew of anything i could study to get ready for tech school? If not thank you anyway.