Tuesday, May 25, 2010

ITYS #505



Midair Close Calls Prompt a Review

”A recent flurry of midair near-collisions around major airports has disturbed federal air-safety regulators, prompting a broad review of procedures and possible changes in training for air-traffic controllers. “

Round up the usual suspects.

”"We've been through a back-alley knife fight in labor relations," Hank Krakowski, the FAA official in charge of air-traffic control, told an industry conference in Washington last week. When it comes to issues such as voluntarily reporting mistakes without fear of punishment, Mr. Krawkoski said "a lot of managers are skeptical" about the FAA's intentions and "we have to build some trust."“

The FAA “building some trust” is like Enron selling some electricity.

I told you so.

”So what will happen ? It’s impossible to know. But I can tell you what happened last time. I was there. I lived it. And I remember that in 1987 I was really scared we were going to have “the big one.” Take a look at these figures.”

I’m betting the trend is just starting. This time, the start date for the wholesale destruction of the controller workforce wasn’t nearly as precise as August 3, 1981. It’s a lot fuzzier this time. But let’s put it at 25 years after 1981 -- 2006. If history repeats itself (and it does) that would mean the NMAC peak would be around 2012. I can hear Mr. Murphy warming up the dice all the way from down here in Retirementland.

Don Brown
May 25, 2010

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