By a nearly two-to-one margin, voters oppose privatizing the operations of the air traffic control system by taking it from the FAA and turning it over to a private non-profit entity, according to a new poll. [Read more…]
By WILLIAM HAMILTON
Satire: Just as your aircraft reaches, say, 30,000 feet on your airline flight, say, from Denver to Chicago, the Captain says, “Hello. This is your Captain speaking. Welcome aboard Olympic Mountain General Airlines. Okay, I know some of you call us: OMG! But, seriously, passengers who studied urban sociology in college may be pleased to know the air traffic controllers who will be controlling our flight today from the En Route Air Traffic Control Centers had absolutely no previous training in air traffic control before they joined the FAA’s training program. [Read more…]
In his most outspoken opposition to date about a Congressional plan for legislation that would create a privatized air traffic control (ATC) system funded by user fees, Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association, sounded a call to action to oppose such a plan before a gathering of more than 3,000 attendees at the 2015 NBAA Regional Forum at Teterboro Airport (TEB) in New Jersey on June 25. [Read more…]
WASHINGTON D.C. — A new Hudson Institute study finds that America’s air traffic control system has fallen seriously behind modern information technology. Case studies illustrate the organizational roadblocks preventing the FAA from modernizing its flight procedures, communications and navigation technology, and governing structure.
OSHKOSH – Each year, the team of volunteer air traffic controllers who work throughout the week of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh nominate one of their peers to be the recipient of the AirVenture Controller of the Year Award. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association congratulates NATCA member Greg Emberland on receiving this prestigious award.
Air traffic control towers staffed by private contractors are cheaper and provide the same level of safety as towers staffed by government controllers, a new audit by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General concludes. According to a report at CNN.com, contract towers cost on average $537,000 a year to operate, compared with $2 million for comparably busy towers staffed by the FAA. In addition, the contract towers had a “significantly lower number and rate of safety incidents,” the report said,
Computer security experts worry that the Next Generation Air Transportation System, known as NextGen, is vulnerable to hackers. Reporters from NPR talk to one hacker who says he could place “ghost planes” in the system, essentially causing chaos. They quote him: “If you could introduce enough chaos into the system — for even an hour — that hour will ripple though the entire world’s air traffic control.” Check it out here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The 250 air traffic control towers operated under contract to the FAA handle 28% of all operations, but cost only 14% of the budget, according to statements before an aviation subcommittee whose members expressed concerns about possible severe cuts in operations if the President’s threatened automatic budget sequester goes into effect in January.
The average annual cost difference between a contract ($537,000) and FAA ($2.025 million) tower is $1.488 million according to testimony from Calvin Scovel, DOT Inspector General at a House Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on July 18.
Scovel’s numbers came from a DOT audit of the contract tower program. The audit compared “30 contract towers and 30 FAA towers with similar air traffic densities”. There are “250 contract towers in over 45 states,” in the 30 year old contract tower program.
WASHINGTON, D.C — Congress is taking a look at the FAA’s plans and efforts to consolidate air traffic control facilities and the controllers’ union says it supports the changes, but only if safety, efficiency, and service are improved.