mm118: Overhaul of Air Traffic System Nears Key Step – washingtonpost.com

MUDGE’S Musings

Those of us victimized by the airlines, airport management, the TSA, too many too small aircraft in the skies (per Patrick Smith, most recently quoted here and here) can find a glimmer of hope in this report:

washingtonpost

Satellite Network Projected to Cut Flight Delays but May Take Years to Complete

By Del Quentin Wilber

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 27, 2007; Page A01

The federal government is expected this week to award a contract worth more than $1 billion to build the key components of its next-generation air traffic control system — a high-tech network that officials say will alleviate chronic flight delays.

The system comes at a critical time, officials say, with flight delays at record levels and commercial aviation expected to continue growing steadily. The network will rely on satellites, rather than radar, to guide aircraft, and it is expected to allow planes to fly closer together and take more direct routes, saving fuel and time while reducing pollution. Government officials say it will also improve safety by giving controllers and pilots more precise information about planes.

An ambitious plan, to be executed of course by the lowest bidder.

[Per L-HC’s reformed process, please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

Overhaul of Air Traffic System Nears Key Step – washingtonpost.com

And, of course the ADS-B system is controversial in the U.S. (happily adopted in lots of the rest of the world, but what do those gals and guys know about technology, anyway?) — everybody who wants this system in the U.S. wants someone else to pay for it.

And I can’t help but feel, the way the story is written, that the air traffic controllers union feels that should the national system be improved it will come at the expense of employment of controllers. Hey, guys, traffic’s expanding! Jobs for everyone! (Of course, if it’s just a matter of talking on a two-way satellite radio, and looking at a screen, the everyones might be working out of their homes in Bengaluru, or Shanghai, but that’s details.)

Of course, this writer will probably be more concerned about a different variety of wings by the year 2020 (if alive, I’ll only be 18 years away from retirement!), but we can all dream, can’t we?

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

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4 Responses to mm118: Overhaul of Air Traffic System Nears Key Step – washingtonpost.com

  1. Naveen says:

    well i make your work easy use Bengaluru Map hehe

  2. mudge says:

    Naveen,

    We appreciate your enhancement of this post with the excellent map of Bengaluru that you’ve provided.

    And doesn’t Mudge deserve points for getting the citiy’s new name right?

    Thanks for stopping by.
    –MUDGE

  3. ClapSo says:

    What really worries me is that there are several companies who are selling flying cars! Can you see where that will lead? People who can’t even find a spot in a parking lot safely zooming around a few thousand feet up on VFR! What a disaster that could be…

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

  4. mudge says:

    Okay, ClapSo, I know Honda has joined the aircraft business, with one of those VLJs (very light jets), but it still costs a hell of a lot more than an Accord. 😉

    And, I can’t imagine the FAA ever certifying flying cars, much less approving soccer moms and dads as their pilots — as you say, applying makeup while kibbitzing on the cell while flying is a downright frightening concept.

    And, unless they’re solar powered or something equally unlikely, small flying vehicles are usually far less fuel efficient, and far more environmentally harmful, than even the biggest Hummer.

    So, no need to duck anytime soon.

    Thanks, as always, for continuing the conversation,
    –MUDGE

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