Sunday, February 28, 2010

Paying Attention -- March Edition

Just in case it slipped your mind, tomorrow (March 1, 2010) is a big day. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will be closing runway 31L-13R at JFK for paving and renovation. It should be an interesting lesson in airport capacity. If you’ll read the linked article, you’ll see it is already proving to be a lesson in economics.

”Passengers using JFK also face another headache — higher ticket prices. JetBlue, American, Delta and other airlines have cut their schedules by about 10 percent for the shutdown period. They can raise prices because there will be a smaller number of seats to meet demand. “

Here’s another interesting factoid from the article.

”Steve Abraham says he and his fellow JFK air traffic controllers must learn how to move aircraft efficiently without the use of their biggest runway. That could add more time to takeoffs and landing, at least initially. Fifty percent of the controllers at JFK have less than 4 years of experience. “

It gives a whole new meaning to “on-the-job training” doesn’t it ?

Speaking of which (switch gears with me now), the folks at Salt Lake Center have been gaining some “experience” of their own. Apparently, there was a major crash of the new ERAM system on February 23rd. There’s not much news leaking out about it -- which is curious. Good thing there’s a union to tell you about it. Or at least a union member. Checks and Balances ? Check.

I suspect all the major players are trying to focus attention on the “Big Picture”. NATCA is pushing for movement on S-1451 -- FAA Reauthorization.

By the way, did you know the French controllers have been on strike for 5 days ? It didn’t change history. Nobody got fired (that I know about.) And it didn’t destroy the profession. Ho hum.

Don Brown
February 28, 2010


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