Monday, March 16, 2009

What He Said



Run over to The FAA Follies and read the good idea Paul Cox has about NextGen, and then, listen to him tell you the same things I tell you about NextGen. He does a better job of it and he’s still a working controller.

I told a rookie controller the other day that a lot of things in life boil down to knowing who to trust. You have to trust somebody in life -- unless you can perform your own hernia surgery, mount your own new tires and build your own water heater. That pretty much sums up this situation with NextGen. Who do you trust ? The guys that are telling you it won’t work -- it can’t deliver what is promised ? Or the folks that are asking you to spend $40 billion dollars. I’ll stand on my record. I know Paul will too. Compare our promises to the FAA’s. Compare our track record. You decide. Who do you trust ?

One point I wanted to make while I was reading Paul’s piece (you can’t cram every point into a blog at once) -- if you take his suggestion to build new runways and/or airports and you don’t regulate their use, we’ll be right back where we are now. New concrete gives us new capacity. But if we allow the users to overschedule the new runways/airports (and they will, in time) then you just wind up with a bigger mess.

You can prove it to yourself, have lots of fun and kill countless hours entertaining yourself while you’re at it. Try your hand at being an air traffic controller. Well, one kind of controller anyway. Try working the final. You can write me nasty hate mail after you’re hooked.

Seriously, it’s as good a depiction of ATC as I’ve seen on the ‘net (and I work real hard at avoiding these time killers.) But if you’re bound and determined to believe that the laws of physics can be defied if you just wish hard enough, you can prove it with this game. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Don Brown
March 16, 2009

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