Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hot Slots



You should probably know that a snag holding up FAA Reauthorization is a new fight over landing slots at Washington National. In that I’ve touted slots as the solution to many of the National Airspace System’s problems, I also want you to understand that any solution has its own problems.

Western lawmakers push for more long-distance flights from Reagan National

”The so-called perimeter rule, which bans most flights to destinations more than 1,250 miles from National, would be eased considerably. For the first time, regular nonstop air travel would expand from National to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and other distant cities.”

Anytime anyone gives the reason for the perimeter rule they’re wrong. There are many reasons. The reasons to get rid of it are numerous and diverse also. I think the lesson at the moment is that the issue is huge with a large number of influential people. It’s big enough to block a Bill that is almost done.

Once you start looking, you can find stories on the subject all over -- here, here and here to get you started.

It isn’t hard to figure out that Congress has better things to fight over -- and that the same fight would occur at any airport with slots. Which is, I’m sure, the reason the CAB handled slots back during the regulation days.

Pick your poison. I still pick slots -- for keeping airplanes on time and safe.

Don Brown
July 31, 2010

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