Streams

Airport Congestion

Friday, September 28, 2007

Patrick Smith, airline pilot and Salon.com’s air travel columnist, and author Ask a Pilot: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel (Riverhead Books 2004) and Herb Jackson, Washington correspondent for The Record of Bergen County, NJ, discuss the Bush administration's plan to ease airport congestion.

Guests:

Herb Jackson and Patrick Smith
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Comments [11]

John from Paramus, NJ

Hi Guys,
I was a caller on this topic on Friday. The gentleman that said, "you can't just build out into the bay" and "it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new runway"... lookit, I'm a computer science major from NJIT, and this looks like a typical data throughput problem.

Someone also said that there are nearby airports that are underused, and that is probably because if airlines use them more, the connecting flights that they take advantage of, will not be at full capacity, and cause higher fares. He’s right, but I think airlines, are doing their best to reduce fairs and the bottom line, so that they can compete with other airlines. They are doing their job. The people running the airports need to do theirs. If there are too many planes that need to land, then anything short of installing a new runway, is ignoring the problem, or pushing it off for the next guy to deal with. In 10 years when they desperately need a runway, your guest will tell me, "that's impossible, it would cost billions of dollars to build a new runway..."

-John K.

Sep. 29 2007 11:25 PM
Kale from NYC

The FAA has recently contracted with ITT to develop and install GPS air traffic control systems which will replace the current archaic technology they use. This is a system that is about 20 years late due to the bureaucratic nightmares discussed here and will eventually/hopefully improve the current routing and bottleneck nightmares we experience as air travellers. Also, Carolyn is right on the nose - a lot of congestion comes from the issues introduced by the increase in private jets who rely on that same air traffic control but do not pay relative to what they get - these small private jet owners interests' have slowed development, and subsequently your travel, considerably.

Sep. 28 2007 02:05 PM
Brian from Manhattan

Ditto John Lobell -- this is yet further evidence of the topic addressed in Naomi Klein's new book: Disaster Capitalism.

Government's neglect of public infrastructure needs leads to more and more privatization of public assets (bridges in Minnesota, airports, and increasing numbers of privatized toll-roads).

One more reason why campaign finance reform should be the TOP (after leaving Iraq) priority in Washington.

Sep. 28 2007 10:44 AM
Carolyn Jacobson from Great Neck, NY

Your speaker says airline prices are about the same as they were in 1983. Wasn't that when Reagan fired all the air controllers to move to privitization of the controllers? I think it is about time we reverse this republican move to privitization and diminizing of government and return to more government for the people and by the people and not the airlines and corporate America. Could some of the congestion be from private airplanes of the rich and famous and politicos?

Sep. 28 2007 10:27 AM
John Lobell from Manhattan

It is cowardly of congress to legislate to punish airlines for delays. It is congresse's responsibility to increase capacity by building more airports and runways and updating the antiquated control system -- but that would take vision and leadership.

Sep. 28 2007 10:25 AM
Robert from NYC

But some people who suffer from certain medical conditions can't CAN'T sit on a plane or in an enclosed area for more than an hour or so or maybe less so there should be some kind of way to get people to get off the plane if and when necessary. Exaggerated or not even an hour could be a disaster and a matter of life and death to some people no matter how few that may be.

Sep. 28 2007 10:24 AM
JB from Manhattan

good one Brian GROUNDHOG'S DAY

Sep. 28 2007 10:17 AM
Adam from NYC

If there are a limited number of "slots" available, maybe the airports should put them up for auction so the more valuable slots end up costing more. That money could be used to inprove the airport which obviously have popular usage and should be compensated. Further, then the airline would have an incentive to make the most of the slots by using the largest planes for the popular slots.

Sep. 28 2007 10:17 AM
hjs from Brooklyn

the delays have never been that big of a deal to me. but i would fly at a differnet time if it was $100 cheaper.

Sep. 28 2007 10:14 AM
Waldo from Manhattan

It appears that airlines have some tolerance for delays built in to the schedules -- On a flight to Miami recently we left JFK almost an hour late but arrived in Miami on schedule. On the return flight we left Miami on time and arrived at JFK 35 minutes early. I've had similar experiences on other flights lately.

Sep. 28 2007 10:13 AM
Mary Bon from Westbrook, CT

Wonkette gets it just right.

Sep. 28 2007 10:06 AM

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