President Joe Biden’s budget proposal contains a $1.3 billion increase for the FAA to $16.5 billion that is aimed to fund hiring more controllers and includes $500 million “to safely accommodate the growth in traditional commercial aviation traffic alongside new entrants from the commercial space, unmanned aircraft, and advanced air mobility industries.” There have been numerous calls to boost the agency’s budget in light of a spate of runway incursions involving airliners over the last three months.
There have also been numerous mass flight delays and cancellations as bad weather and staff shortages combined to essentially nullify airline schedules, particularly at Christmas and other peak travel times. But the nationwide ground stop that resulted from a corrupted file in the 30-year-old computer system that serves up NOTAMs put major focus on the FAA budget and the calls for an increase.
Typical government reaction: Don’t fix the problem, just throw money at it. As Nobel economist Milton Friedman said, “Every government agency says that they could solve all the problems if they just had a big enough budget”.
But, you can’t fix a problem if you don’t have the budget to fix it.
You can if you look at changing policy/action/direction as a first step.
Great to see a streamlining of the certification process for PMA parts and new innovations available for 50 year old technology. What used to take months, not takes years. Unless you’re Garmin or Boeing and can self-certify. Well… Boeing as as much after the Max issue.
Given that there exists, now and in the foreseeable future NO computer or AI device that can replace the human brain for decision-making (this applies to piloting, too), and intuitiveness, the FAA has to hire people to run and manage the National Airspace System. The airlines are good at trying to stuff 10 pounds in a 5 pound sack, but that is detrimental to safety. The system is currently overbooked, and only more people and more runways will increase safety and efficiency. Throwing money at the problem is the only way.
I agree. But I wonder about the con job the FAA used to get everyone equipped with ADS-B. That was supposed to be the cure all for capacity issues. I would prefer the additional money budgeted be used to restore or greatly improve existing services (registration, pilot, and other airman, technical and medical certification, air carrier oversight). These are the reasons for FAA existence. Let’s fix these before putting more responsibilities on.