The W$J reports on measures the Bush Administration has announced or proposed to ease holiday air travel woes. The White House fact sheet on the reforms is here. As a frequent traveler, I sure hope these measures are effective.
As a frequent traveler, I sure hope these measures are effective.
"If only it were that simple," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "At the top 10 busiest airports in the United States, the FAA's own data for all towered airports show that general aviation makes up less than 4 percent of all aircraft operations."
What are the real culprits? A June 5 front-page story in USA Today said that about 40 percent of the delays were caused by weather. Other factors were late-arriving aircraft, maintenance and crew problems, and flight coordination at airports. The article also said that flight delays are at their worst in 13 years.
Yet the ATC system was created for the airlines. The extensive cost is due to the airlines' hub-and-spoke system. It makes business sense for them to shift the blame and costs onto somebody else.
The truth is that airline passengers and freight users pay a portion of the total costs of operating the ATC system as a whole, similar to buying a postage stamp. No airline or airline trade group has assured travelers that their ticket prices would drop by even a penny if the airlines got the tax breaks they wanted.
The in-flight editorials try to use sheer numbers — present and future — to make their case by comparing corporate jets with airliners. What they don't say is that the airliners fly far more often, exacting a bigger load on the system while imposing a significant cost.
but isn't general aviation at least a significant part of the problem?