Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tired of drunk and/or sleeping air traffic controllers? Newt has a solution.

Back in April, there was a wave of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job. And in recent days, the news of a air traffic controller who had more than twice the legal amount of alcohol in his system has made headlines.

What no one in the news media is asking is: "How can this be solved?" And the answer is it can be solved by going from the antiquated radar system that governs our country's skies and moving to GPS. In no other sector of society -- besides some other government agencies -- do we still live in the past as much as in air traffic control. The radar system has largely remained the same since its' introduction in the 1950s. Would you put up with using technology from the 50s in other areas of your life?

Newt has been pushing for this change for a number of years now. He tells what the benefits would be:
You can do a space-based air-traffic-control system with half the current number of air-traffic controllers, increase the amount of air traffic in the northeast by 40 percent, allow point-to-point flights without the controllers having to have highways in the sky, and reduce the amount of aviation fuel by 10 percent. So it’s better for the environment, better for the economy. You have far fewer delays in New York, and by the way, you cut the number of unionized air-traffic controllers by 7,000.
And that last part -- the unionized workers -- is the only reason that we have not shifted from an decrepit system that leaves every American citizen who flies in the hands of a possible sleeping air traffic controller, that wastes fuel, that costs worker productivity (by being in the air, circling around the airport, instead of being able to work).


  1. First off, there is no apostrophe after "its" when using the possessive. You fail to be persuasive when you can't use English in its simplest form. However, the point is moot, because proper grammar cannot save a factually flawed argument totally lacking in logic.
    Space-based air traffic control would still be manned by controllers. This pipe dream does not address the alleged problem in the headline: the "wave" of sleeping air traffic controllers.
    Space-based air traffic will not increase the amount of air traffic in the northeast. There needs to be demand. Building a bigger highway doesn't create more cars. It is a amazing that you proffer a government solution to increase private sector activity in the form of increased air traffic. How positively command economy socialist of you.
    And you illustrate the key quality required for broad statement solutions to complex issues: ignorance. How does space-based air traffic control increase the number of landings per hour? Right now, New York and Chicago are landing as many planes per hour as possible during peak periods. Increase the total capacity for planes in the air, and you'll just have more planes holding waiting for a spot on the ground. There goes your ten percent fuel savings.
    Mr. Gingrich obviously just read a Lockheed Martin sales brochure and took its pitch and ran, without vetting the facts.
    Stick to historical novels and other works of fiction. Leave system management to informed and knowledgeable professionals.

  2. Bit of a prick, eh?

    No one ever said that there will not be a need for air traffic controllers anymore, dumbass, and not realizing that shows how ignorant you are.

  3. Newt' s arguement is perfect except 1. It wouldn't decrease the number of controllers needed 2. It wouldn't increase capacity (only new runways can do that) and 3. It wouldn't save money with more aircraft holding for the limited runway space. Ignoring the facts doesn't make them go away.

  4. Josh Gosser is correct when he says "No one ever said there will not be a need for air traffic controller anymore.” Not even the first Anonymous poster said that. Nor did Mr. Gingrich.

    However, the blogger did say that Mr. Gingrich had a solution for “drunk and/or sleeping air traffic controllers.” The blogger then writes about space-based air traffic control, and fails to put any solution to the alleged “drunk and/or sleeping” problem into the blog-post. Where is the solution?

    Mr. Gosser recognizes that there will still be a need for air traffic controllers—in fact he insists that anyone who can’t see that is a dumbass and ignorant. So, the question remains, how does space-based air traffic control help address controller alertness issues? Don’t hurt your brain—it doesn’t.

    Don’t blame Mr. Gingrich for this absence of a causal relationship between the headline of the blog-post and its body. If you click on the link in the blog-post you’ll be taken to a February 2009 article, in The New York Times of all places, where Mr. Gingrich discusses space-based air traffic control, but makes no mention of controller alertness. After all, controller alertness didn’t hit the news cycle until two years after this article. Mr. Gingrich made no connection between these issues. Only the blogger did, in his headline, and subsequently failed to deliver. Did the blogger even read the whole Times article? It was pretty long.

    Either the blog-post headline is a misleading lie, or Mr. Gingrich can see two years into the future to address problems. If it is the latter, apparently Mr. Gingrich’s future-vision does not enable him to see his own actions, because if it does, then we have a Shakespearean tragic character on our hands that makes MacBeth look level-headed. Don’t worry—Mr. Gingrich obviously can’t see into the future. The correct answer is the first one: the blog-post headline is a misleading lie.

    There is a whole metaphorical “Mission Accomplished banner while landing on an aircraft carrier” feel to this blog-post. How so? The caliber of logical thinking and analysis exhibited by the blogger is precisely the type Mr. Gingrich needs to cultivate as part of his core constituency in order to get a sufficient number of votes. Mission Accomplished!


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