Monday, April 14, 2008

Pan-Pan...Pan-Pan...Pan-Pan



If you aren’t involved in aviation, you probably don’t recognize the significance of those words. Likewise, for those not in aviation, you might not realize that Bobby Sturgell -- the Bush Administration’s nominee for FAA Administrator -- is in such trouble he might need to utter the phrase.

10-1-1. EMERGENCY DETERMINATIONS

”b. A pilot who encounters a Distress condition should declare an emergency by beginning the initial communication with the word "Mayday," preferably repeated three times. For an Urgency condition, the word "Pan-Pan" should be used in the same manner. “

It’s Monday morning. After a weekend for the furor to calm down -- it hasn’t. When you’re an acting Administrator and two Senators have a “hold” on your nomination to become the Administrator, the last thing you need to see is this:

”Business Travel Coalition called on President Bush for the immediate removal of FAA Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell, and to consider the removal of other top FAA officials...“

Bear in mind, the Business Travel Coalition isn’t some wild-eyed union guys. As far as I can tell, they aren’t even part of the “liberal media.” As a matter of fact, it looks like they are the bread and butter of the Bush Administration’s supporters -- a coalition of business people.

As a further sign of just how far the worm has turned, even the Charlotte Observer had a negative piece.

”Of course, the FAA says all is well, that those of us on those largely uninspected planes were safe. Right.“

When you start losing conservative, Southern newspapers (is there any other kind ?), things are going downhill in a hurry. Even worse, I was reading that Congress would stay in session so there will be no “recess appointment.”

And the “bad” news keeps piling up.

Airline deregulation deserves another look

THE ISSUE -- Sen. Daniel Inouye says he plans to conduct Senate hearings of the possible re-regulation of the aviation industry. “

Just in case you didn’t watch those hearings I pointed you towards last week, Senator Inouye is the Chairman of the full committee -- Commerce, Science and Transportation. Oh yeah, he’s also on the Appropriations Committee.

Just in case you don’t get my drift (and while I’m pointing things out), let me remind you of the second thing I ever said on this blog after I retired from the Federal Government.

” Airline deregulation doesn’t work. There. I said it. It’s time somebody did. “

Don Brown
April 14, 2008

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