In Favor of Progress, But Not Yet.
There is a move afoot to replace the ATC system in this country—that’s our Air Traffic Control system—and those who know about these things say it’s long past time for doing so. It’s hard to believe, but the current system dates back to World War Two, with controllers tracking flights by radar and issuing verbal instructions to pilots by radio.
Of course the new system will be expensive, but the current antiquated system costs a great deal to operate. In fact, according the Charlie Leocha, president of the non-profit advocacy organization, Travelers United, some $7.5 billion has been spent on the existing system just in the past ten years.
And, if you want to know where that money has been coming from, the answer is from roughly the extra 10-percent iin taxes and fees added to every airline ticket we buy.
OK, so what’s the hold-up?
Well, most of the opposition seems to be coming from an organization called the National Business Aviation Association. It’s an organization claiming to represent corporations and individuals who own private jets.
Want a good example of hutzpah? The NBAA continues to oppose the new system on the grounds that new taxes and fees could be imposed on their members at some time in the future even though there’s a stipulation against exactly that in the law that would implement the new system.
Here’s how Travelers United sums up the stubborn NBAA opposition: “By standing in the way of reform, this one special interest is denying airline consumers, cargo companies, piston-engine pilots, small regional airline passengers, and even NBAA’s own members the benefits of a modern, user-accountable ATC system.”
For more information, go to the Travelers United and/or the National Taxpayers Union web sites.