...GAO Spots Problems, Offers No Solutions...

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As the major stakeholders in the future of the National Airspace System get ready for their teeth-gnashing session in Washington in a few weeks, the Government Accountability Office has chimed in with its assessment of the state of the system, particularly the effort to reduce flight delays. Unfortunately, there is no beacon of light in the GAO's report. Simply put, it says more money, probably a lot more, will have to be spent to implement the structural, facility and organizational changes that need to take place to make a real difference. In fact, there's a note of practical desperation in some of the FAA's plans to address the problem. The report says the agency is considering auctioning off landing and takeoff rights at LaGuardia. LaGuardia is simply out of room and its capacity is finite but for most other airports, there are few problems that a healthy dose of cash won't solve, whether it's for new runways, or updating other equipment. But the report also points out that the U.S. money tree is pretty much picked clean and it really has no thoughts on where the cash might come from.