During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump called American’s inner cities, “burning and crime-infested” prompting quizzical “say whats?” from many inner city residents who wondered to what he was referring.
The same thing happened when Trump promised to demolish former President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It was a “disaster”, Trump said. But once power shifted from one president to the next, Trump confessed he didn’t know health care “could be so complicated.”
Aviation in America is the latest arena where the president has demonstrated his chronic blindness to nuance. In May, with great fanfare he condemned the Federal Aviation Administration as failing. The solution was to turn air traffic control over to a private not-for-profit entity consisting primarily of airline insiders. While the House of Representatives enabled the effort, the Senate is pushing back.
“Support is not there in this (Senate Commerce) committee or in the Senate,” Florida Senator Bill Nelson said, referring to the bill’s chances.
The restructuring of the FAA, the operation of air traffic control and the integration of new navigation and traffic control systems; these are huge issues and complex issues. To reform them wisely requires judiciousness.
The dilemma is that delay puts the industry even further back because of the speed at which technology moves forward. Just trying to keep up leaves the nation’s airspace reformers looking like that famous scene in I Love Lucy, where Lucy and Ethel take jobs on the chocolate assembly line. Technology is the conveyor belt moving ever-faster.
Would that moving travelers out of airports and through the skies was as consequence-free as wrapping chocolates and the solution as sweet as stuffing the extra bon bons into our mouths. But it is not.
American air space needs reform badly, reform that is the product of comprehensive thought and collaboration. It may get air time on the evening news but when it comes to a safe air transport system, hyperbole will not fly.
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