Delays Malaise: Time for Change?

GUEST COMMENTARY. As flight delays in the U.S. rise to alarming levels, everyone acknowledges that the system is broken, but nobody agrees on how to fix it. The controller's union blames the airlines for impossible scheduling practices. The airlines blame the FAA's ATC command center ("central flow") for excessive delays and in-trail spacing, while the FAA blames the weather. Meantime, airports are saturated, runway incursions are increasing alarmingly, and pilots are screaming about position-and-hold and LAHSO. While the FAA desperately tries to modernize the crumbling U.S. ATC infrastructure one piece at a time, Australia is about to launch a whole new clean-sheet-design ATC system. Ken Cubbin says that the U.S. has all the money and resources it needs to create an aviation system for the 21st century, but seems to lack the political will to do so.

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