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Air Traffic Control System: If They Can Put a Man on the Moon…

August 28, 2008 | Posted in: DOT,Travel Safety

I’ve said this before, and never with more urgency since Tuesday’s debacle – we have to replace our decades old ATC system now.

Yes, I know by year’s end, the FAA says it will have completed upgrades to the “aging” National Airspace Data Interchange Network, and it “has a lot more memory so what happened [Tuesday] could never happen again” but, this strikes me a a patch work job – a piecemeal effort at a “fix”.

I’m also very aware that the FAA has been pushing for a whole new satellite-guided system that equips planes with GPS (and I’ve interviewed FAA officials about this), but that’s expected to take more than a decade. An FAA spokesman described it this way:

“This is one of the largest project management challenges the U.S. government has had since we put somebody on the moon.” — FAA spokesman

But already, it’s been talked about for years. Let’s see – it was 1961 when President Kennedy called for putting a man on the moon – a mission that was accomplished in 1969. How about the same urgency for equipment to handle the flights all of us take everyday?

One Response to “Air Traffic Control System: If They Can Put a Man on the Moon…”

  1. Preferably without creating an Apollo 13 style disaster…

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