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Can Congress Pass a Bill to Modernize Air Traffic System?

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Joined: 19 Feb 2010
Posts: 12
Location: Smyrna, TN, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:06 pm    Post subject: Can Congress Pass a Bill to Modernize Air Traffic System? Reply with quote

It looks like Congress may finally get back around to figuring out how to pass a bill that will fund the Next Generation Air Traffic System (NexGen). Hopefully, I will see this happen in my career, I still have 15 years left if all goes good.

It is frustrating to me that the lawmakers want to wrap up controversial provisions into a bill that's primary purpose is not controversial. Everyone in aviation agrees that the traffic control system needs to be modernized. It will save fuel and time in the air which is both green and more productive for our economy. It will also increase the margins of safety with better traffic management. Both general aviation and the airline industry support the development of NexGen.

So, what is the hold up?

Somehow congress can not seem to simplify things and get something done.

They have to add in provisions that we canít all agree on so things get stalled and nothing happens. What can we not agree on?

* Who pays for it? GA versus Airlines
* Should we be auditing European Repair Stations? A Union Protectionist Issue
* Should we make it easier for FedEx employees to unionize? Another union issue. Big company against the union
* Passenger Rights? The People versus the Airlines
* Pilot Work Rules and the Oversight of the Airlines: Pilots versus the Airline Management and additional regulations

In that list that I just mentioned, which of those issues, if any,has the first thing or, for that matter, anything at all to do with modernizing our air transportation system through the deployment of new technology? With the exception of who pays for it, none! And I will bet you that we can come to some solution on who pays for it.

Maybe I am simple-minded, but why canít these guys in D.C. simplify this and pass a clean bill that funds what we all agree needs to happen and fight it out over the rest in separate bills? Is there some legislative rule against simplicity? If there is, then we need to change the rules. Or maybe we just need to fire the rule-makers and vote in some new ones who understand how to get things done.

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