Air Transport World

Frustration. (air traffic control system and commercial aviation) (editorial)

The word heard over and over again regarding the U.S. air traffic control system and Aviation Trust Fund the title of this editorial--frustration. The frustration is born from many years of losing battles with the U.S. government's budget system. The ATC system is not keeping pace with demand, it is far behind what technology allows, and the money being collected from users to improve it cannot be shaken loose.

The U.S. airline industry is doing its best to expand and profit in the free-market manner as directed by Congress just a few years ago. There are several speed bumps on this free-market road, one of the larger bumps being the capacity of the air traffic control system. An airline's value as transportation and efficiency as a business declines when it has trouble getting from point A to point B. The ATC system has not kept pace with traffic demand, delays being the most obvious indicator of this failing ability. these delays will increase without substantial change. …

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