A little more than 44% of all airline flight delays between May 2016 and April 2017 were categorized as Air Carrier Delay.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics defines Air Carrier Delay as “within the airline’s control (e.g. maintenance or crew problems, aircraft cleaning, baggage loaded, fueling, etc.).”
So it feels a tad misleading when Southwest Airlines asks its Rapid Rewards members to “Help us advocate for national ATC modernization.”I suspect Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program has a few hundred thousand members, and probably more. And those members received the following message at the top their July 2017 report.
“Our ATC system is safe, but terribly out-of-date and increasingly inefficient, resulting in longer flight times and unnecessary delays.”
In fact, when I add weather to Air Carrier Delays, I find ATC was NOT responsible for 73.76% of the more than 1.1 million delayed flights between May 2016 and April 2017.
ATC is not a problem seeking a solution. Do we need to modernize? Yep. But this isn’t the best way to accomplish that.
So, after you tell Congress to reauthorize the FAA without privatizing ATC, tell your friends and neighbors and local newspapers and your customers. Just like Southwest Airlines.